child specific foster parent

What You Need to Know About Fostering a Child You Already Know

“And let me know if you need help purchasing a crib or anything as well,” I said in a text to a friend from church. He had just found out that his granddaughter was being removed from his daughter’s care. At 10:14 p.m., I received a text back: “Literally just got her!” It was a scary night for my friend and his wife, their daughter, and their granddaughter. But it could have turned out worse. It was my friend’s “yes” to becoming a child-specific foster parent that kept his granddaughter with a loving family she was related to and knew. And this doesn’t just happen with family members.

Teachers, pastors, coaches, neighbors… There are many people in our community who say yes to a child they know who needs a safe and loving home. Many people believe fostering is solely caring for children you have never met. Although this is a piece of the foster care system, there is also the option to foster a specific child—a child you know. In Florida, it’s called Level 1 foster care. Here’s what you need to know about fostering a child you already know.

Kids in your family might need you.

If you have a family member who is struggling with making healthy choices and it is impacting his or her children, you may be called upon to care for those children. Even if you don’t have a history of positive and daily interactions with your family member, the fact that you are family may mean you’ll be asked to care for the children if they’re removed. If this describes you, continue to seek to build connections with that family member and his or her children to help the transition go smoother.

Kids who are like family might need you.

Secondly, you could become a child-specific foster parent even if you aren’t related to the children. If you are like family and have a pre-existing relationship with a child, you could become a foster parent for that specific child. Teachers, coaches, pastors, friends, and neighbors all could have the kind of pre-existing relationship that could turn into a child-specific foster home placement.

And you can help them right now.

Another advantage of becoming a child-specific foster parent is the process itself. Because child-specific foster parents already have a relationship with the child, the process is much shorter and is less involved than becoming a traditional foster family. If you’re interested in becoming a child-specific foster parent, call 1-83-FosterFL or 1-833-678-3735 or visit this foster care contacts page.

Sound off: In what ways could your family help a child in need this week?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “Are any of your friends’ families going through a tough time right now? How can we help them?”