Hope Hill foster and adoptive resource families develop the skills to become part of a child’s treatment team, using individuated treatment strategies to extensive supports to meet the child’s needs and experience everyday activities in a safe, supportive home environment. Hope Hill families participate in treatment planning and receive ongoing training, in-home supervision and professional support.
Fostering can present challenges as you work towards healing for the child in your care. Hope Hill understands that providing foster care to children and adolescents requires knowledge about the effects of trauma on the developing child. We have developed a system of service that integrates trauma-informed approaches to promote healing and resiliency.
Research suggests that there are three factors largely responsible for helping kids in foster care succeed.
Supportive and involved relationships between case workers and foster parents;
Effective use of behavior management strategies by foster parents, and
Supportive and involved relationships between foster parents and the youth in their care.
Hope Hill recognizes the importance of this and provides foster parents with the tools and support they need to help their foster child thrive. This support can include:
An orientation session.
Training on child development and trauma-informed parenting skills.
Ongoing support from a trained Hope Hill caseworker
Foster parent support meetings
24-hour crisis intervention services
At Hope Hill, we believe the first placement needs to be the best placement, which is why we take such are to match children with foster families who are best able to meet their needs. There are different levels of care in all of our Hope Hill locations, and varying lengths of stay for different placement situations.
Most often this is the first level of foster care for children who are not able to remain at home because of unsafe parenting or home environments. Reuniting children with families is a primary focus of our Hope Hill team, and there are frequent family visits during this time. Sibling groups and younger children are commonly referred to this level of care while their parents work on resolving the issues that led to the foster care placement.
Many children who enter Hope Hill Foster Care have endured intense trauma and are in need of counseling and/or medication in addition to safe, nurturing homes. It is not uncommon for children who have experienced or witnessed neglect, physical, emotional or psychological abuse to act out their emotions even after they are removed from dangerous situations. Our therapeutic foster care program trains qualified foster parents to understand and respond to these challenging behaviors so the youth can grow and thrive. Hope Hill staff provide 24/7 on-call support and allow for 5 paid days of respite care per year.
Foster parenting is one of, if not the most rewarding yet challenging jobs, so sometimes foster families need a break. Hope Hill’s respite care, usually offered for a weekend, involves caring for a child when a foster family needs a break. Some families start out providing respite care to determine if foster parenting is right for their household.
The goal of Hope Hill is always to achieve permanency for our children. Adoption is a beautiful way to complete a family, no matter what form it takes. Before pursuing adoption through foster care, it’s important to remember that when a child enters the foster care system, the state’s primary goal for him or her is always reunification with the biological family. Only when it becomes impossible for the child to be reunited with his or her biological family will that child become legally available for adoption.
At that point, the child’s current foster parents are generally given the first opportunity to adopt him or her. In fact, about 80% of the foster children for adoption in Kentucky are adopted by their foster families. This process is known as “foster to adopt.”
For this reason, foster parents are dually approved to adopt in Kentucky. While it is possible to adopt a child from foster care without being a foster parent first, understand that most parents who complete a successful foster care adoption do so through foster to adopt in Kentucky.
To become a foster-adoptive parent for Hope Hill, you must meet the following licensing requirements:
As mentioned before, 80 percent of the children adopted from foster care are adopted by their foster parents. For most families interested in adopting a foster child, then, the foster-adopt process will look something like this:
Once you have been approved as a licensed foster-adoptive parent, Hope Hill will contact you about potential placements. Keep in mind that as a foster parent, your job is to provide a safe, temporary home for children in need; these children may or may not become available for adoption at a later date.
Should your foster child eventually become available for adoption, you will be given the first opportunity to adopt the child. You will then need to complete the legal process to finalize your foster care adoption.
Additionally, Hope Hill helps Kentucky families pursue in-state adoptions, including private adoption home studies. Independent adoptions are when the birth or placing parent places directly with the adoptive parent. There are two types of independent adoptions under Kentucky Law, Relative and Non-relative. The law defines relative adoption as one in which the child is “sought to be adopted by a blood relative, including a relative of half-blood, first cousin, aunt, uncle, nephew, niece, and a person of a preceding generation as denoted by prefixes of grand, great, or great-great; stepparent; step-sibling; or fictive kin”. For these adoptions, the Cabinet will complete a court report after the petition is filed. For Non-Relative independent adoptions, applicants must submit the DPP-187 Independent Adoption Application to the Adoptions Section, DCBS Central Office, with a non-refundable fee of $200.00. Once received, Cabinet staff will determine if the family will qualify for the Cabinet to complete the investigation, or if the family will need to have a private agency complete the report. Eligibility is determined based on 250% of the current poverty guidelines. If you are not eligible with the DCBS office, then Hope Hill is here to help. We can complete a private home study and all the requirements to get your adoption approved.