Your First Placement - A Guide

The first time a child is placed into your care will be a new experience for all.  Somethings like meeting the basic needs of a child can feel familiar and universal.  Yet navigating the resources, systems, and legal procedures can often feel foreign and surprising.  Here's a guide to help you navigate through these first few weeks.

The Call:

The first placement starts with a call.  You'll get a call based on the information you gave us when you initially interviewed and told us which type of children would work best in you support structure.  Sometimes these placements may be placements emergency placements due to a child being removed from a situation, other times, these are children that are already in the system that may be a good fit for you.  Though we call you knowing that your willing to take children, and we take our time to make sure your family and situation needs are met, you always have the option to accept or deny any placement.  We know the emotions and adrenaline will hit, but you've trained for this, you've spent countless hours thinking about this, and we trust you!  It's ok to have those feelings: Trust your gut and make the decision thats in the best interest of you, your family, and this child in need.

Now would be a good time to start asking yourself some questions: Is the house ready for this child? Depending on the age, you may need to make some minor adjustments.  Do you have all the things you need? You can ask your social networks if they have extra articles of clothing or furniture you may be able to have or borrow to meet the needs of the child that you are fostering.  

Meeting

It's time for the child to be placed.  The first meeting is important for both of you

Getting Yourself Ready
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The Child
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The First 72 Hour:

Every Child place in Foster Care will enter into a hearing with the state to see if Child and Youth Services has made the correct decision based on the evidence to place the child in foster care.  This is typcally the time in which the judge will  make the decision to keep them in the custody of the state and therefore, placed with you.  They are typically searching for family to place the child with that may be appropriate.  Within the first 72 hours, you can expect:
  • Get a WIC letter stating the child is remanded to your custody
    • This is a letter to prove that you have gardianship should you need it to prove they are in your custody (ie for school pick up, or doctors appointments)
  • Example
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  • Another Example
    • health insurance

Social Media

There are many great facebook groups you can visit and ask questions you may be having: Foster The Family

Shopping For you Child

You are repsonsible for shopping and feeding the foster child.  However, there are some support systems available for every child in the foster system.  The WIC Program (Women Infants and Children) can supply food and nutition needs to children under 5 to supplement their nutrition.  Formula is provided for infants under 1 year old, and specialty formula is provided with a prescription from a doctor.  Set up an appointment with your Local WIC office and take your WIC letter.  LINK

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Feature Four

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Insurance Card

All children in the foster care system are awarded state provided health care.  Though you cannot make major medical decisions for the child, you are expected to take care of them medically with preventative and emergency medicine, and having an insurance card will make those issues easier 

Family

The child may be separated from some of their family member and siblings. Making contact with 

The First Month

The legal system will start to design a permanancy placement plan.  This will outline what the expectations for reunification are for your foster child.  This will also outline visits with their biological family...
  • Get a WIC letter stating the child is remanded to your custody
    • This is a letter to prove that you have gardianship should you need it to prove they are in your custody (ie for school pick up, or doctors appointments)
  • Example
    • this stuff
  • Another Example
    • health insurance