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1. What is foster care?
Foster care is a temporary arrangement for children who are removed from their homes and found to be dependents of the court. Guardians may become foster parents. The following questions are designed to help you figure out if becoming a foster parent is available or desirable in your situation.
The advantages of foster care arrangements are that grants are generally higher and special services are available, including a special program for young adults (at age 18) to set up their own households. The goal of foster care is to assist parents reunify with their children or, if this is not possible, to create a permanent plan for placement of the child either through adoption, guardianship or long term care.
Social workers must review the placement twice a year. You may not want social workers involved in your family life.
Foster care approval is based, among other things, on whether or not anyone in the house has been convicted of a felony, whether there is sufficient bedroom space, whether the home is safe and other factors related to the welfare of the child.
The federal foster care program is available to relatives who can meet the above requirements and another important condition: The child must have received AFDC in the last 6 months. Relatives who are interested in foster care must make sure that CPS immediately files a petition with the juvenile court.
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