What is Foster Parenting?
It’s caring for a child until his or her parent(s) can resume this responsibility, or until a permanent home is found. Foster parenting is a commitment to helping a child through a difficult period. It’s a job for people who can provide love and guidance. By mutual consent many of our foster families enjoy positive relationships with birth parents beyond reunification. We encourage families to recognize the importance of these connections to the child.
How long will a child stay?
Some foster parents provide emergency care (usually for a month or less) until a plan for on-going care is made. Other foster parents provide day-to-day care for a longer period.
Foster parents arrange for medical and dental care as needed. (Medi-Cal covers the cost of care provided by the approved doctors and dentists for children who are eligible)
Foster parents protect the child from harmful situations that could threaten his or her health and safety.
Foster parents provide the basics including food, clothing and sleeping arrangements that meet state requirements. (Foster parents receive a monthly stipend and a Medi-Cal card for each child)
Foster parents encourage positive relationships between the child and his or her natural parents(s). Foster parents may play a part in visits between natural parent(s) and child.
Foster parents help the child to grow through educational, cultural and social experiences.
Foster parents prepare the child to return home to live with relatives or adoptive parents if a return home is not possible.
Foster parents discipline in a positive way by setting rules that are fair, consistent and appropriate for the child and by encouraging acceptable behavior.
Foster parents work as part of a team that includes the agency, responsible for the child, the Courts and various service providers in the community and, whenever possible, the natural parents(s).
Foster parent requirements:
- Adults over the age of 21
- Homeowners or renters
- Be able to provide for their own family’s financial needs
- Have stable family relationships
- Have enough room for the foster child.
Monterey County encourages all interested families to inquire about fostering.
Before and after you become a foster parent:
You will be required to take part in a training program. Training is provided by Hartnell College Foster and Kinship Care Education and is free of cost to you.
While programs vary, you may receive instruction about:
- your responsibilities as a foster parent
- the impact that fostering may have on your family
- how to help foster children express emotions related to separation from family
- how to discipline in a positive way
- caring for kids with disabilities, medical problems or other special needs
- handling specific problems-temper tantrums, depression bed-wetting, etc.
- support services (including help from the local foster parent association)
- how the child welfare system works.
If you are interested in becoming a foster or adoptive parent in Monterey County we encourage you to learn more about both public and private agencies. A good place to start is by attending an Information Meeting. Please refer to our calendar for meeting dates and times.
There are other agencies in our community that recruit foster and adoptive parents. We partner with other agencies in our community to help you find the right program for you. It is our belief that no one program fits every family. Joint recruitment efforts allow us to work toward our common goal of matching children with the most suitable family.
The following is a list of local Foster Family Agencies that support our children. Please contact them if you require more information on how you can become a foster or adoptive parent through a private Foster Family Agency.
1127 Baldwin St. Suite B
Salinas, CA 93901
124 River Road
Salinas, CA 93908