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Lake County, Ohio - Job and Family Services

Top 10 FAQs

    Foster Care and Adoption Top 10 Most Frequently Asked Questions

    How long does a homestudy take?

    The homestudy process begins with 36 hours of Preservice training, which is held periodically through the year.  During the training, paperwork is distributed to gather background information.  Once the paperwork is completed and returned to the agency a Social Worker will begin the interviewing process.  The amount of time it takes will depend a lot on your availability.  Homestudies should be completed within 3-6 months.

    Can I foster and adopt?

    There are three options open to families- Foster Care, Adoption, and Foster to Adopt.  The foster to adopt program allows families to foster a variety of children while, at the same time, have an approved adoption homestudy.  If a child in care becomes available for adoption, foster parents would be advised of their option to adopt.  Your adoption homestudy is valid for any other county in Ohio or any other state.

    Do foster parents get paid?

    Foster parents are volunteers and are not considered employees of the agency.  They are reimbursed a per diem rate to assist with the care of the foster children placed into their home.  This rate is set by the county commissioners yearly.  All children in the custody of the agency are covered under Ohio Medicaid.

    What if I work full time?

    Many foster families consist of two working parents.  Alternative care arrangements may be made with an in-home provider or a licensed daycare center.  The agency will assist with the arrangements and either reimburse the foster family or pay the daycare directly.

    Do I have to be married?

    Foster and adoptive parents may be single or married.  Couples who are co-habitating will have their foster home certification in one person’s name.  Adoption homestudies are also done under one person’s name.  Life partners are listed as other adults residing in the home.

    How much space do I need for a child?

    Foster children do not need their own room.  They may share a room with your children depending upon the age and gender of the children.  No more than four children may share a room.  Children of the opposite sex may share a room if both children are under the age of 5.  Infants may share a room with an adult until the age of 1.

    Can I home school?

    Foster children would be required to attend the public school system in which the foster family lives.  The child’s social worker would be responsible for withdrawing the child from their home district and enrolling the child in your school district.

    Can I pick the child I want?

    Social workers will assist you during the homestudy process to determine the age, gender and characteristics of the children you could best parent.  After you are licensed you have the ability to accept or deny any child presented to you by the agency for potential placement.

    Can I have pets?

    Pets are permitted as long as they are kept in a safe and sanitary manner and are up-to-date on their vaccinations.  Indoor cats must also have their vaccinations up to date.

    How much does an adoption cost?

    The Lake County Department of Job & Family Services is a public agency.  Adoption homestudies are done for Lake County residents and the agency does not charge a fee for conducting the homestudy.  There may be minimal costs associated with completion of some of the paperwork requirements such as your co-pay for physical examinations and there is a charge to process the criminal record check.