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Foster & Kinship Care

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Our Foster & Kinship Care program offers another vital opportunity to meet our clients where they are, delivering the care and support they need, the moment they need it. Many of the children we serve need a safe, secure home and compassionate, reliable care as their families navigate difficult times. We encourage members of our community to open their hearts and consider this important responsibility.

When you choose to share your heart and home with a child through our foster care program, you can count on continuous support in return. We offer:

  • One-on-one ongoing support, including home visits by an assigned Foster Care Specialist
  • Ongoing educational opportunities and connections with experienced foster parents – a team of people working together with you to ensure success and healthy relationships
  • Access to experienced, caring staff who are available to answer your phone calls any time of the day or night

Contact us today to learn more about our Foster & Kinship Care program, ask any questions you have and find out if this big step is the right one for you and your family.

Attend a Foster Parent Orientation

Monday, July 22, 2024

Monday, September 16, 2024

Monday, December 16, 2024

Are you interested in learning more about becoming a foster parent? The first step is to attend one of our upcoming foster parent orientations! This free virtual session is held via Zoom. Those who register to attend will receive a private link via email prior to the event. During our foster parent orientations, you will learn the process of becoming licensed, hear from our support staff guiding our foster parents during licensing and beyond, and have a chance to ask questions about what it really means to be a foster parent. We hope you choose to join us!

What it Means to Foster a Teen
Siblings in Foster Care

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the steps I need to take to become a licensed foster parent with Child Saving Institute?

  1. Attend a Foster Parent Orientation Meeting
  2. Complete an 11-week training class
  3. Work with Child Saving Institute to complete Home Study and other licensing paperwork
  4. Receive final approval and license from the State of Nebraska

What are some of the requirements to be a foster parent in the State of Nebraska?

  • You must be at least 21 years of age
  • You may be single or married
  • You must pass the following background checks:
    • Adult Protective Services & Child Protective Services
    • Omaha Police Department
    • Department of Motor Vehicles
    • Sex Offender Registry
    • NE State Patrol (fingerprints)
  • You must have a stable income
  • Complete an application and Home Study
  • You and your home must be in compliance with the safety checklist completed by Child Saving Institute licensing staff
  • Be a resident of Douglas or Sarpy counties
  • Be able to satisfy additional licensing requirements established by the State of Nebraska
  • Participate in an 11-week Foster Parent training class at Child Saving Institute
  • Provide a safe, secure and nurturing environment
  • Agree to be the primary provider for the foster children in your care
  • Provide housing, transportation, clothing, recreational activities and medical care for foster children in your care
  • Serve as a member of the child’s treatment team
  • Assist the child in setting and accomplishing goals
  • Participate in home visits
  • Keep notes and records documenting the child’s care and progress

What is a home study?

The home study is conducted by Child Saving Institute licensing staff. This is a process in which prospective foster parent(s) participate in personal interviews and a walk-through of their home. During the home study a series of in-depth and detailed questions are asked about the applicant’s background, history, family, relationships, parenting style, home and neighborhood. This is also an opportunity for prospective foster parents to ask questions and discuss concerns.

Can I work full-time and also be a foster parent?

Of course! As any working parent knows, this is no easy task, but with a good routine and planning on your part, you may maintain full-time employment while also being a very successful foster parent!

Can I choose the gender and/or age of the children I would like to foster?

It is important to always remember that foster parents have the right to decline a placement, without consequence, if they do not feel it is a good fit for their home. It should also be mentioned our highest needs are based around families willing to take teens and large sibling groups, often with three or more children.

How long does it take from the time I am licensed until I welcome my first child?

We will begin contacting you about placements immediately upon licensure. You determine how quickly you and your family will welcome your first placement. Our highest needs are for families who will welcome teens and large sibling groups.

What are my responsibilities as a foster parent?

As a foster parent, you are expected to provide a loving, nurturing and safe environment for the children in your home. You will also need to provide daily care and supervision of children, schedule and maintain all necessary medical & dental appointments and participate in family therapy if deemed necessary. Foster parents must be able to provide for all transportation needs of the children in their care as well. We also ask our foster parents cooperate with all members of that child’s team and other service providers by attending Family Team Meetings, court hearings, etc. Foster parents are also expected to work with biological families when appropriate to support reunification of the family.

What kind of support do I receive once a child is placed in my home?

Once licensed, you will be assigned a Foster Care Specialist to work with you on an ongoing basis. This person will assist you in everything from problem-solving tough behaviors to helping navigate the Nebraska Foster Care System. Child Saving Institute also provides a 24-hour, on-call phone number so you have somewhere to turn at any hour of the day in an emergency. Foster Parent Network meetings are also a great way to meet other foster parents, share stories and gain support from those in similar situations.

What kind of reimbursement do I receive? What things am I expected to pay for?

Foster care reimbursement varies depending on the child’s age, behavioral or medical diagnosis, and overall level of care needed. It is important to note that the cost of medical care is covered by Medicaid for children in foster care, and children in foster care may also be eligible for child care under Title XX at child care facilities that accept Title XX clients.

What is respite care?

Respite care is an essential part of foster family support. Respite care provides short-term relief to those caring for foster children by placing the child with a family member, friend or other licensed foster family. Respite care may be utilized when you are traveling out-of-town, attending a funeral or just need a break.

Can I adopt a child from foster care?

Sometimes children in foster care are available for adoption, but it depends on the permanency goal established for that child. Most children in the foster care system are NOT currently available for adoption. Most children’s permanency plan typically starts with a goal of “reunification” with the child’s biological family. However, if a parent’s legal rights are terminated or they choose to relinquish their rights, the children would become available for adoption at that time. A child must be placed in a foster home for at least 6 months before the adoption can be finalized.

Child Saving Institute also maintains the Nebraska Heart Gallery which comprises children in need of Forever Families. You are welcome to visit the website to meet the children and their biographies. Anyone interested in fostering and eventually adopting a child on the Heart Gallery must first become a licensed foster parent.

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