Becoming a Foster Parent: Steps, Requirements, and Support

May is National Foster Care Awareness Month in the United States, a time when we highlight the needs of children and youth in foster care and reflect on the importance of those who are dedicated to serving them. As a foster care provider, Wellroot recognizes the critical role foster care parents play in ensuring the safety and well-being of the children in their care.

There are nearly 11,000 children in the Georgia foster care system today. Approximately two-thirds are removed from their families because of circumstances deemed neglect. While separation may be the only course available, separating children from their families causes additional trauma. When children are removed from their home, their world feels out of control. The children and their parents need to know they’re safe during this vulnerable time.

As a foster parent, you partner with Wellroot to provide a safe and loving home for a family in crisis. Becoming a foster parent is a form of selfless love that gives children and their families the support they need on their journey toward reunification.

Eligibility Criteria for Foster Parents

At Wellroot, we consider our foster families to be an integral part of our extended family and strive to provide them with the support they need to take care of the children in foster care. Our foster family approval process takes about four to five months, and we will be with you every step of the way, from the start of the process to finding a permanent home for the child.

Our foster parents are a variety of ages. They are single, married/in a committed partnership, divorced, or widowed and have a wide variety of backgrounds and interests. But, they all have one thing in common, the desire to provide a safe and loving home for a child in need. If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, following are few key requirements to consider:

  • Age – In general, you must be at least 25 years of age. There isn’t an age cap, but assessments of health and financial stability are part of the home study process. We have individuals in their 60s and 70s who make great foster parents.
  • Married, Committed Partnership or Single – Single parents can be incredibly strong foster. Regardless of relationship status, everyone in the home needs to be jointly on board for fostering. That includes other adults, such as a grandparent or young adults living in the house.
  • Home vs. Apartment – You can own or rent a home and still foster. The important factor is having sufficient space. State licensing rules are specific about room size and privacy, meaning children should not share a room with an adult after age 1 or another child of a different sex after age 4.

Ready to learn more? Register and attend our next informational meeting! Our team will walk you through the steps to becoming a foster parent and address important questions like training and resources. We can even put you in touch with other foster parents just like you so you can hear about fostering from their personal experience.

Why Our Programs Work

Wellroot recruits, trains, and approves foster families. These families are then assigned to one of our foster care workers, and we match referred children to a family that will provide a safe, nurturing temporary home. We also provide the ongoing training, advocacy, in-home support and community to help you be the best foster parent you can be. We take a family-centered approach that establishes a partnership between the children’s birth and foster families to increase the likelihood of the child returning home permanently to their birth family, and when this is not feasible, Wellroot assists in establishing a permanent home for the children.

Becoming a foster parent can be a rewarding experience. However, it is important to understand the requirements and process involved in becoming a foster parent. At Wellroot, we provide extensive support and guidance to our foster families throughout the process. We are committed to ensuring that each child placed in our care receives the love, support, and stability they need to thrive. As we continue to face a shortage of foster families, we encourage those who are eligible and interested to consider becoming a foster parent. As our own foster parent Brenda Campbelllikes to say, “it’s not about how big your home is, it is about how big your heart is.”