For nearly 60 years Hope Hill has made placing kids in need with loving families our top priority and we have helped hundreds of children and families. There is nothing more rewarding in this world than helping a child in need. As a foster parent, you might be the first person in their life to truly love and care for them. You will work with Hope Hill’s staff as a member of a team that will provide hope and healing to the children in our care.
Foster parents provide temporary and specialized care for a non-relative child, typically ranging in age from infancy to 18, who has been removed from his/her home. Children are taken out of their homes due to abuse, neglect, or other family problems that endanger their safety. During this time of crisis, it is vital that children are provided with a safe, nurturing environment.
We don’t give up on kids and are committed to helping those who have failed in other programs and systems. We give them the second chances they deserve. What separates us from other agencies is our faith-based approach and the extra supports we provide to foster parents. All of this support ensures that foster parents are not alone in caring for the child(ren) in their home.
I found a home that I had always wanted but never thought that I would get or deserved.
- Hope Hill Foster Child
Our foster parents tell us that Hope Hill Foster Care is better than other foster care programs because of the special attention and support our staff gives to each and every family. Focusing on quality over quantity, our foster parents are never alone. Hope Hill staff, through an on-call system, is available 24/7 to offer support and guidance. We take the time to help our foster parents determine the characteristics of kids that will fit best in their homes; we provide ongoing, child-specific training. Our foster parents tell us time and again that caring for Hope Hill children has enriched their own family lives.
Be a couple or single adult over the age of 21
Have a stable housing situation – you can either rent or own your residence – that provides enough for your foster child to grow
Have a flexible schedule
Retired or employed
Have a regular source of income (cannot be dependent on the foster care payment for expenses, nor can you be on government assistance)
Demonstrate positive parenting skills that include patience, stability, maturity and love of children
Cannot have any convictions for felony crime, or have been substantiated for any form of abuse or neglect
Must ensure that all family members are in good emotional and mental health
Knowledge of child development is helpful, but not required
Willingness to work with foster care staff towards achieving identified goals for your foster child
A sense of humor and a lot of love
Once you decide to become a foster parent, Hope Hill will walk along side of you to help you obtain your state required foster certification, which is valid for one year. The certification process includes training for future foster parents so that they are equipped to meet the needs of any child placed in their care. The process typically involves five to six visits to your home over a 10 to 12 week period. During those visits, Hope Hill staff members gather paperwork, interview all family members, inspect the home for safety, and fully explain the responsibilities of foster parenting.
Hope Hill will be by your side during this exciting time to be sure that you and your homes are prepared for the placement of a child(ren). Our highly trained professionals assess each foster parent’s training needs and provide training opportunities that best fulfill these needs. All Hope Hill foster parents are required to meet or exceed certain criteria before placement can occur. In office or at home training is also required prior to approval.
In order to be approved to foster, each family’s ability to care for children must be assessed through the home study process, which our trained workers at Hope Hill are certified to conduct.
During the home study process, a family’s suitability to foster children is based upon financial stability, health, criminal history, character references, home safety, and knowledge of foster care related topics (covered in pre-placement training). Home studies include interviews with each applicant and other persons living in the home in addition to a safety audit.
The Structured Analysis Family Evaluation (SAFE) is a home study methodology that provides a suite of comprehensive home study tools and practices for the description and evaluation of would-be adoptive families. SAFE is also suitable for the home study of prospective foster families, relative care providers or dual licensure of concurrent planning resource families.
SAFE is helpful and user-friendly for the social worker and is respectful of an applicant family’s expectations for open, transparent and fair treatment in a sensitive area of their lives.
SAFE is built on a foundation of strong practice values and combines an information gathering and analysis technique that assists the social worker to describe and evaluate a family, its characteristics and capabilities.
SAFE does not employ standardized pass-fail tests to determine the result of a home study. Instead, SAFE provides social workers with the state of the art tools and methods they need to sensitively engage the family in a process that culminates in a comprehensive home study report that accurately portrays family strengths and limitations as they pertain to parenting.
SAFE may be used for any placement evaluation including adoption, foster care or kinship
Foster parents play an essential role in the lives of children faced with such uncertainty. Foster parents become members of a team working in the best interest of a child(ren), so that he/she can return home safely, when appropriate. Teams consist of state social workers, Hope Hill case managers, therapists, and nurse when necessary. During these times of change, foster parents:
Provide temporary care for children, lasting from one night to a year or more
Cooperate with children’s social workers, caseworkers, and biological parents in carrying out and participating in a permanency plan
Understand the need for and goals of family visits
Assist children in coping with the separation from his/her home
Transport to and from doctors’ appointments, therapy sessions and family visits
Provide guidance and as many positive experiences as possible
Encourage and supervise school attendance and participation in extra-curricular activities
Arrange for children’s regular and/or special medical, optical, hearing and dental care
Complete all necessary documentation in a timely manner
Inform social workers and Hope Hill staff members promptly about any problems or concerns, ensuring that the needs of the child can be met through available services
Treat children with kindness, consistency and respect
Never harm children physically or verbally
As a foster parent, you are included in designing the foster environment in your home. You are encouraged to evaluate the type of child(ren) who will best fit into your family structure. You may also select the age range, gender, and types of behaviors that you feel most comfortable parenting. A narrow range, however, may limit a foster family’s ability to have a child placed in their home quickly.
An average stay could be six months to one year. It could also range from one year to a lifetime, depending on the child’s needs and your family’s goals and capacities.
Children in foster care vary tremendously, but many have experienced some kind of trauma and may have developmental delays, medical issues, emotional disturbances and/or behavioral challenges. In some locations, we offer specialized services for medically fragile youth who need extra attention and care. The good news is that as a foster parent, you have the opportunity to help these children heal and replace hurtful memories with happy ones.