Foster Care Program
Foster / Resource Parents
Foster/Resource parents provide a safe, caring, and family home for a child ranging in age from birth to 18 who has been temporarily separated from his/her own family for various reasons. The child is in the custody of the Chesapeake Department of Human Services.
Resource parents are Foster parents who meet the criteria to adopt if the foster child in their home was freed for adoption. Chesapeake's Foster/Resource parents are dually certified so that if they wanted to adopt a child they were fostering, the process is easier.
How to Become a Foster / Resource Parent
Chesapeake Human Services appreciates its foster/resource parents and welcomes the opportunity to include more dedicated families in its Foster/Resource parent pool.
- Talk with a family services specialist in the Foster Care Home Finding Unit. Call 757-382-2249 or 757-382-2246 to schedule an appointment to answer a few questions. (Option for phone or in person)
- Attend the PRIDE Pre-Service Foster and Resource Parent Training. You will receive a letter with the next training date. Over several weeks, you will complete 27 hours of training. Both parents are required to attend in two-parent homes. During this commitment-free training, about fostering, you will be given the necessary paperwork to become a Foster/Resource parent.
- After the classes and paperwork, the Home Finding unit will conduct a home study to make sure you meet the requirements to be a foster/resource parent.
Foster Care Home Study Process
During the home study process, the following items will be collected or reviewed:
- Access to a phone and the ability to be contacted.
- A physically safe home. A written fire safety evacuation plan
- An emergency evacuation plan in case of hurricanes or other disasters.
- A fire extinguisher and a first aid kit.
- Copies of a TB test (tested within the last year) and a physician’s statement that you are healthy and capable of foster parenting.
- Up-to-date pet inoculation records.
- Have no dangerous pets Complete an FBI fingerprint check, CPS, and local background checks DMV records/car insurance/safety inspection sticker/registration
- Complete a financial form/copy of pay stub
- Marriage certificates and divorce decrees
- Personal references (3)
Agency Contact Information
Foster Parent Road Map to Certification
What steps do I need to complete to become a certified foster parent?
- Call a Resource Family Worker to introduce yourself and express your interest in learning more about foster care: Felicia N. LaGarde, 757-382-2249, Amy M. Christiansen, 757-382-2241, Phyllis H. Albergottie, 757-382-2247, or Danielle L. Jones, 757-382-2306.
- An Orientation packet will be mailed to you, along with information on the next scheduled Orientation and Pre-Service (PRIDE) Training.
- Complete Orientation and Pre-Service Training. A foster parent application will be given to you during the training.
- Turn in the background checks, fingerprints, TB results, and physicals as soon as possible to start the home study. Submit a completed application for certification.
- A Resource Family Worker conducts three home visits with you.
- The Resource Home Development Team reviews the home study and makes approval decisions.
- Certification Process is completed!
- Approval notification is mailed to the family.
- How does a child become involved in the Foster Care System?
A child becomes involved with the foster care system through an abuse/neglect petition filed by the Chesapeake Child Protective Service Unit in which the child is found by the Chesapeake Juvenile Court to be at imminent risk of harm. Delinquent children are sometimes placed in foster care, as well as children whose legal guardians have been relieved of custody by the Juvenile Court.
- Which children are in most need of placement?
Foster/resource parents that are willing to accept sibling groups and teenagers are in the highest need. There is also a need for homes in which there is a parent who does not work outside the home so he/she can provide for a child with special needs or a newborn infant that is not able to go to child care.
- Can I bring my child to Chesapeake Social Services and place my child in foster care?
No, every effort must be made to prevent foster care placement. Foster Care placement takes place through the Juvenile Court. If you are having problems with your child, the Department will assess the needs of the family and refer the family for services.
- What are the basic requirements to be a foster parent?
- 21 years of age or older
- Married or single (no co-habitation/living together)
- Physically and mentally healthy
- Income to meet your own needs
- Safe, loving and stable home
- Space for a child in your home (bed and clothing space)
- Working telephone
- Reliable transportation
- What are the responsibilities of the foster parent?
- Provide a loving, safe, and healthy family for the child
- Accept that the child may have different ideas, beliefs, and ways
- Flexible and understanding
- Work with schools, doctors, therapists and others to meet the child's needs
- Help the child grow and mature
- Willingness to work as a team with the family services specialist, birth parent, and the child
- Help the child to maintain attachment to his family by assisting with visits
- Prepare the child to return home, or if they cannot go home, to be adopted or to live independently
- Participation in family partnership meetings
- What support is there for foster/resource parents?
- Training classes prior to becoming a foster/resource parent
- Monthly foster parent support and education group with simultaneous group for foster youth ages 10 and older
- Ongoing training classes on issues that are of concern or interest
- Family services specialist support and guidance
- Monthly monetary payment for room and board, clothing, personal care, allowance, and other expenses
- Possible additional monthly money payment for supervision, support, and additional services to a child with an emotional, behavioral, or medical/personal need
- Yearly clothing allowance
- Holiday gifts provided by the community
- Medical coverage for the child
- Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) for foster youth ages 0 to 5
- What is required for the home study?
- Home visits to your home
- Three references per adult applicant
- Federal, state, and local criminal checks
- Child abuse and neglect checks
- Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) checks
- Tuberculosis (TB) tests or TB assessments on all household members
- A physical on all adult caretakers within the last 12 months
- Financial paperwork
- Fire escape plan and disaster plan
- Proof of marriages and all divorces
- Animal shot records and license
- Other information
- How do I become a Chesapeake Connections specialized foster parent?
Specialized foster care providers are central to the professional treatment team, and key to the success of children in foster care. They work the closest with foster youth to implement strategies specified in a child's treatment plan. They facilitate the healing of a child in a family setting. The first step to becoming a specialized foster parent is to attend Chesapeake Connections' unique ten-hour trauma-informed, specialized skills training, usually split between two Saturdays or three weeknights. Training is offered up to four times per year.
- Who pays for the child in the home?
The agency will provide a monthly payment for room and board, clothing, personal care, recreation, other expenses, and allowance based on the age of the child. A yearly clothing voucher will be supplied based on the age of the child. In some situations, an additional monthly monetary payment for supervision, support, and additional services for a child with an emotional, behavioral, or medical/personal need may be provided. Medicaid is provided to cover medical, dental, and mental health costs.
- Who do I contact for more information?
Please email Felicia N. LaGarde, Family Services Specialist or call 757-382-2249. Learn more about all of our programs and ask further questions at 757-382-2000.