Foster Care FAQs

What is foster care?

Foster care is a system of care provided for children who cannot live with their birth families for either a short or an extended period of time.

What is the difference between “traditional” and “therapeutic” foster care?

Maryhurst teaches all of our foster and adoptive parents to provide therapeutic foster care, which refers to homes equipped with additional support and sensitivities beyond those required by the State for traditional foster families. Because most of the children placed in Maryhurst foster homes have some level of emotional and behavior problems due to their histories of neglect and abuse, we feel all parents must have the skills to provide them with proper care, nurturing and consistency to help them heal from those traumas.

What requirements must I meet to be a foster parent?

Foster parent requirements:

  • 21 years of age or older.
  • Married, Single or Partnered (all co-parents must go through training).
  • Submit to background checks that reveal no felony convictions or convictions related to abuse, neglect, sexual exploitation, or death.
  • Provide credible, positive references.
  • Provide proof of income outside of foster care.
  • Provide a physician’s statement that you are free of illness or condition that could present a health or safety risk to a foster child.
  • Be able to provide a safe environment for a child.
  • Be able to provide an individual bed for each child (children of the same gender may share rooms).
  • Attend training.

Can I provide part-time foster care?

Yes! We call this respite care. All of our parents use respite care and provide respite care whether they have a full-time foster child or not. For instance, if a parent is going out of town for the weekend or has a special occasion that is not for the child to attend, they might schedule respite with another foster parent while they are away. Respite-only parents complete the same training as full-time foster parents.

How am I compensated for the cost of care?

Parents will receive compensation for each day the child is in their home. This is called a per diem. Per diem rates range from $24 to $50 a day based on the needs of the child in their home. All children who are in state’s care also have Medicaid coverage in the form of a medical card, which means you aren’t responsible for medical costs.

Will I be able to choose my foster children?

Yes. During the training, we will educate you on the needs of children we serve. After this training, you will be asked about preferences regarding behavioral issues, emotional issues, age, gender, and culture.

What is the process to become a foster parent? How long does it take?

The process of certification involves 36 hours of training, appropriate paperwork, background checks, home study, and interviews with all members of the potential foster family. The training takes up to 10 weeks to complete. Once that is completed, the amount of time before certification will depend on how quickly the applicant is able to complete the requirements plus time for Maryhurst Embrace staff to complete the home study.

What type of paperwork is required?

  • Completed homework from all 4 training sessions.
  • Copy of proof of income other than foster care.
  • Copy of proof of homeowners/renters insurance.
  • Copy of proof of auto insurance (liability limits of $100,000/$300,000).
  • Copy of valid KY driver’s license.
  • References: both financial, personal and familial.
  • Physician statements and TB tests for all family members.
  • Immunization certificates for all children.
  • Background checks for all adults in the home.
  • CPR/first aid certification.
  • Marriage and divorce certificates.
  • All other documentation discussed during the pre-service training and gathered with assistance of Maryhurst Embrace staff.

How long will it take for me to get a foster child?

This time frame is variable and depends greatly on how specific you are regarding the type of child that you want. Our goal is to match children with appropriate families and sometimes this can take time. Keep in mind that children are more easily matched with foster families that are open to a wide variety of children, including race, age, gender, and behaviors.