Thousands of children in Colorado's foster care system require temporary out-of-home care because of parental neglect, abuse or exploitation. Some stay in foster care for weeks; some for years. The children are of all ages and varying needs.
Foster parents provide a supportive and stable family for children who cannot live with their birth parents until family problems are resolved. In most cases, foster parents work with Human Services staff to reunite the child with birth parents. Foster parents often provide care to many different children.
A license is required to operate a foster home. The process requires a licensing worker to visit your home and meet with you and other family members. Minimum personal, safety and space requirements are required by law. Foster parents work with Human Services staff to determine the type of child best suited for their home (i.e., age, health issues, and gender).
Foster parents receive a monthly payment to feed, clothe and meet the material needs of the children placed in their care.
Medical and dental coverage is provided through the Medicaid program.
For working parents, appropriate child care arrangements must be made by the foster parents.
Age requirements are flexible as long as your health, energy and desire are appropriate. Retired foster parents are also needed.
"Relative" means an adult who is related to the child by blood, adoption, or affinity within the fifth degree of kinship, including stepparents, stepsiblings, and all relatives whose status is proceeded by the words "great," "great-great," or "grand," or the spouse of any of these persons, even if the marriage was terminated by death or dissolution. However, only the following relatives shall be given preferential consideration for the placement of the child: an adult who is a grandparent, aunt, uncle, or sibling.
When a child is placed in foster care by a county, the county social worker and court must give preferential consideration to certain relatives (grandparent, aunt, uncle or sibling).
The court shall order the parent to disclose all known relatives. The social worker shall initially contact the relatives given preferential consideration to determine if they desire the child to be placed with them. Those desiring placement shall be assessed.
A relative's home is exempt from foster home licensure, but must be assessed by standards equivalent to licensure and approved by a county social worker. For a relative providing long-term foster care, the court may authorize the relative to provide legal consent for the child's medical, surgical, dental care and education. Social workers and courts must consider specific factors when assessing a relative to decide whether or not to place a child with a relative.
A relative who is caring for a child who is eligible for federal foster care receives a foster care payment each month. This payment is currently about $380 to $400 per month, depending on the age and the needs of the child.
A relative who is caring for a child who is not eligible for federal foster care receives a welfare payment for the child. This payment currently is at a maximum of $99 per month per child and adjusted based on numerous factors.