Foster parents are caring people who have opened their hearts and homes to the children of Lake County who are in need of temporary care after having been removed from their parent's custody. Applicants must meet the following requirements:
- They must be at least 21 years of age.
- They may be a married couple, single person or co-parents.
- At least one foster parent must be able to read, write and speak English to effectively communicate with any child placed in their home.
- They shall have an income sufficient to meet the basic needs of their household.
- All members of a foster caregiver's home shall be free of any physical, emotional, or mental condition which would endanger a child or seriously impair the ability to care for a child.
- They shall submit to a criminal background check with fingerprints through the Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
- They shall not operate their home as an adult boarding house nor shall they provide child care in their home without the Department’s consent.
- The home shall have a Safety Audit from Lake County Job and Family Services and a fire inspection through their community fire department.
- They must agree to abide by the discipline policy of the Lake County Department of Job and Family Services.
- They must have sufficient room to provide care for foster children without displacing any family member.
Foster Parent licensing begins with a 36-hour Pre-service training which is scheduled 3-4 times per year. The sessions are held evenings or weekends. During this training you will learn about the special issues inherent to children in foster care. We will review issues of abuse, neglect, child development, attachment and separation issues and concerns regarding the effects of providing foster care on your family. The training is followed by a home assessment during which there will be required paperwork and multiple interviews with the Social Worker assigned to your family. During this process, the agency Social Worker will assist applicants to determine the age, gender and number of children appropriate for placement with a family. Documentation of the home assessment process is then submitted to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to issue a license. Once a family is licensed as foster parents, they are required to complete 40 hours of ongoing training every two years. The agency will assist foster parents by providing a per diem stipend for the care of the child. Daycare assistance is also available for working foster parents.