Foster Care for Children
When children are placed outside of their home, there are several different types of care they may need:
- Emergency placement
- Temporary placement, or placement for less than a year
- Scheduled short-term respite care, generally on weekends
- Permanent placement when reunification is not possible.
Foster Family Care
When children cannot safely remain in their own homes due to abuse or neglect, Family Foster Care is used as a temporary living arrangement while families receive the help they need. Family Foster Care provides a network of caring, stable people who are willing to help not only a child, but also the child's family, so the parent and children can be reunited.
Respite Care Providers
Respite care is a temporary foster care service offered to families (including foster families) of Scott County who need short-term and/or regularly scheduled out-of-the-home placement for the child in their care. Respite care is usually 1 or 2 weekends a month, depending on the child's needs and the respite care provider's availability. Respite care providers must have an awareness of various conditions and/or be willing to receive appropriate training. Respite care providers are licensed by the same rules as other child foster care providers and receive referrals through Scott County Health and Human Services for placements.
The Resource Family Program provides foster care for children who will likely remain in out-of-home placement for a longer time and may not have relatives available to provide care. The resource family must be willing to support reunification by working with the child's parents until a permanent decision is made and be willing to adopt or accept a transfer of custody of the child, as determined by the court.
Children are placed in foster care for a variety of reasons. They are usually due to abuse or Scott County neglect, parents’ incarceration, substance abuse, the temporary absence of the parent, or abandonment. Some children are placed in care due to family difficulties or financial hardship, or due to their own behavior or conditions, such as disabilities. Some children require care only for scheduled short term respite care, which generally occurs on the weekends.
As a child’s foster care provider you will make a difference just by being there, on a daily basis, providing guidance, support, encouragement, and stability.
Traditionally foster care is thought of as caring for an individual young child. The needs are more diverse. Foster care is needed for essentially every age group and family situation. When choosing to become a foster care provider, analyze your lifestyle and daily schedule to determine which type of care is a best fit for you.
There is an on-going need for foster parents to open their homes to the teenagers from Scott County who are unable to live in their parental home for a variety of reasons or there is a need for respite from the parental home. Parenting a teenager can be challenging, but very rewarding to know you made a difference in someone’s life at a crucial time. Supervision before and after school is essential for teenagers. You may express a preference to work with boys or girls.
Single Teen Mothers & Infants
Foster homes for teen mothers and their infants are needed as well. Providing a secure, stable environment and sharing your nurturing, mature parenting skills is a tremendous gift you can provide.
Full Family Foster Care
Full family foster care can be a supportive living and learning option, allowing for parents and children to be in a safe environment while the parent is working on learning better parenting skills under the mentoring of a foster care provider. One possible example of full family foster care could be a young mom with a new baby. Or it could be a parent who needs to develop parenting skills to be able to take care of two or three children.
Separating brothers and sisters is often traumatic. Please consider opening your heart and home to a sibling group of 2, 3 or more children. These children need an adult at home full time, or with a very flexible work schedule.
A child’s health and well-being is foremost in the minds of Scott County Foster Care Program licensors and case workers. The county strives to make the placement of a child in foster care as least disruptive as possible. Children are placed with relatives or family friends whenever possible. If a relative or family friend is not an option, then children are placed with licensed providers that live close to their home communities, biological parents, and relatives.
When children must suddenly leave their home, they may be placed with an appropriate relative or family friend. If no relative or family friend can be identified at the time of placement, then the children are placed in a Scott County Foster Home. The length of placement is determined by court action. Foster homes are selected for placement based on the child’s needs. Children are placed in their home school district if possible. The Scott County Foster Care Program feels it is important to keep the children close to their Minnesota home community if at all possible.