Become a Foster Parent

Am I ready for foster or adoptive parenting?

Many people think for a long time about welcoming a child into their home through foster care or adoption. Whether you are an older adult or a younger adult, a working or a stay-at-home-parent, a home owner or renter, adoption or foster care may be a good option for you.

  1. I HAVE ENOUGH ROOM IN MY HOME FOR A FOSTER/ADOPTED CHILD. T/F

    You must have adequate bedroom space. A foster/adopted child may share a bedroom with another child of the same sex but the child cannot share a bedroom with anyone over the age of 18 years.

  2. I AM READY TO HAVE A SAFETY INSPECTION OF MY HOME DONE NOW. T/F

    It is important that your home is safe and free of hazards. During the home study process, a safety inspection will be made of your home. You must have working smoke detectors, a carbon monoxide detector and a fire extinguisher.

  3. I AM IN GOOD PHYSICAL, EMOTIONAL AND MENTAL HEALTH. T/F

    Being a parent can sometimes be demanding. You must be healthy and emotionally stable to care for children. Each parent must provide a medical statement completed by a physician.

  4. I HAVE NEVER HAD AN INDICATED CASE WITH AN AGENCY DUE TO ABUSE OR NEGLECT. T/F

    If you have had an indicated Child Protection case, you may not be able to become a Resource Parent. We will review our records as well as any other state where the applicant(s) resided.

  5. I HAVE ADEQUATE INCOME TO MEET MY CURRENT FAMILY’S NEEDS. T/F

    You do not have to be rich; however, you must have enough income to meet your own family’s needs. During the home study process, you will be asked to provide proof of income and to review family expenses.

  6. I AM SINGLE OR MARRIED. T/F

    Resource Parents can be single, married, divorced or widowed.

  7. NO ADULT IN MY HOME HAS EVER BEEN CONVICTED OF A CRIME. T/F

    If you or any adult residing in your home has been convicted of certain serious criminal offenses, you cannot become a Resource Parent. If you have specific questions regarding which crimes are prohibited, please call Kayla Chesebro at 716-701-3664.

  8. I AM READY TO BEGIN THE HOME STUDY PROCESS NOW. T/F

    You are ready to begin the home study process if your life and home are stable. “Stable” means that you are not about to move and are not having financial, marital or emotional difficulties or making any major life changes in the near future.

Are you ready?

If you answered "TRUE" to all of the statements, you are ready to begin the process of becoming a foster/adoptive parent!

Additional internet resource link: http://www.nacac.org/howtoadopt/KidsNet_Assessment_Guide.pdf

More information

For further information, contact Cattaraugus County Department of Social Services:

Kayla Chesebro: 716-701-3664

Dawn Westfall: 716-701-3279

Road Map to Foster Parent Certification

What steps do I need to take to become a certified foster parent?

  1. Call the Cattaraugus County Foster Care Home Finder 716-701-3664 to get an application.
  2. Attend an Informational Meeting to learn more about the certification process and to receive your Orientation Packet.
  3. Begin the MAPP/GPS process (30 hours: 3 hours per week over 10 weeks).
  4. Submit application.
  5. Start the home study process.  Two home consults will need to be completed.
  6. Complete background checks on all adult members 18 and over in the household. This includes fingerprinting, SCR (child abuse) clearance and justice center clearance. 
  7. Complete a TB test and provide documentation of the test results and a physician’s statement.
  8. Provide at least 3 references and employment verification.
  9. Foster Care Committee meets to review the home study and make approval decisions.
  10. Complete MAPP/GPS.
  11. Certification Process is complete!

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