We Put the "Care" in Foster Care
One of the vital services Families First provides is offering safe and temporary homes for children in Georgia’s foster care system. Our staff helps foster families with the additional resources they need to be successful, including free training, support services, and 24-hour access to our Case Specialists.
Foster parents often talk about the joy that comes from providing a child or teen with a loving home, and foster kids—though they might not always express how vitally important their foster families are—have their lives positively impacted through those caring connections.
Programs and Support for Foster Care Youth
Youth who grow up in the foster care system may have fewer resources from their biological families at their fingertips. They often need extra support as they age out of the foster care system. To help them transition to becoming fully independent adults, Families First helps with both the Youth Independent Living and Second Chance Home programs.
Youth Independent Living
The Independent Living Program provides supportive services to youth transitioning out of the foster care system. Youth, ages 18 to 21, live in apartments while learning a variety of life skills and connecting with vital resources to assist in their transition to adulthood.
Each youth is connected with a caring Life Coach to help with their daily needs, provide emotional support and guidance, and assist with developing and strengthening the skills necessary to become a successful, independent adult. This includes but is not limited to education services, mentoring, relationship skills, life skills, employment resources, behavioral Health Services, and Financial Literacy.
Second Chance Home
A Second Chance Home offers housing and support services for teen mothers between the ages of 13 to 19 with one child between infancy and preschool age. The program assists young mothers in developing parenting skills, completing their education and becoming self-sufficient.
Foster Parent Requirements
If you’re interested in becoming a foster parent, here are some of the requirements to be aware of. You must:
- Be 25 years or older (or 23 and married)
- Be a U.S. Citizen or have a declared citizenship status (i.e. green card)
- Have reliable transportation and a valid driver’s license
- Be able to verify annual income
- Have appropriate living environment for children
- Be able to accept teenagers and/or sibling groups of two (2) or more or maybe a teen mother and child
- Have satisfactory criminal record checks
- Have no criminal charges against children
- Complete medical and drug screening
- Have commitment to make a difference in the life of a child
Becoming a foster parent is a big decision and responsibility. It’s also hugely rewarding! We’d love to connect and answer any questions you may have.
Steps to Becoming a Foster Parent
Families First offers a required group orientation session where applicants can learn about the foster care program and how to become a foster parent. If you’re interested in participating, call us at 404-853-2844.
Impact Area Programs
Impact Area FAQ
Foster care is a protective service for families experiencing difficulties so severe that the children are temporarily removed from their home and placed in a foster home. In these foster homes, foster parents provide a temporary, safe, stable, and nurturing environment until children are able to be return home or reach another permanency goal.
- Families or individuals must be at least 25 years old (23 if married)
- Financially and emotionally stable
- Responsible and willing to work as a part of a team
- Foster and respite parents are culturally diverse, single or married and from all income levels
- No experience with foster care or special needs is required
- You can rent or own your own home and may have other children. Foster families must have a clean and safe home with adequate space for additional child/children.
- Families must attend an orientation, attend IMPACT, a 20-hour training class, and undergo the homestudy process.
All individuals must be able to pass the following screens:
- Criminal history
- Child protective service
- Driving records
- Drug screen
- Medical clearance
- Foster families must have time, flexibility, and the desire to make a difference in the life of a child.
The foster parent acts as a full-time caregiver providing a safe, stable, and nurturing home until the child returns to his parents or relatives or another permanent plan is made. Foster parents work as part of a treatment team to ensure that the children’s safety, well-being, and permanency needs are met and children reach their highest potential.
We currently service children/youth from ages 0 to 21 years old, male and female of any race. The children that are placed have encountered some level of trauma and are brought into care due to neglect, physical, or sexual abuse. We place children with a wide range of emotional, behavioral, and medical issues.
Parents are needed for all types of children. However, there is always a great need for parents willing to accept teenagers and large sibling groups of three or more children.
Trainings are scheduled regularly throughout the year. Once families complete IMPACT training, they are eligible to begin the home study process. The time your home study will take is determined by your schedule and the timely submission of your documents. We estimate a family can be approved within 3 to 6 months.
A home study is document produced from information gathering and an in-depth interview process conducted by licensed social worker. It involves 2 to 3 home visits where in-person interviews take place with all individual in the home. All results from reference checks, background checks, drug screens, and medical information are included in the home study. Home studies are not standardized; they follow state regulations and may vary from state to state. The average home study takes about 3 to 6 months to complete.
Foster care is designed to be temporary. On average, children are in foster homes for 6 to 18 months. However children can be placed in your home and moved at anytime the courts deem fit.
Families First does not pay foster parents for fostering. However, we do provide a supplemental per diem for families to assist with the care-taking of the children in their home.
Absolutely. While most children in foster care are reunited with family members, reunification is not an option for some. In these cases, foster families may be considered for adoption. Adopting through foster care allows families the opportunity to get to know the child prior to finalizing the adoption.
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