It has been a while since we have updated this site about our foster care licensing, so we thought we would give you an update. Right now, we are attending weekly foster care/parenting classes that will end on June 10th. These classes help prepare us for all sorts of situations we may encounter.
In addition to the classes, we have completed our paperwork, physicals, finger printing, background checks, CPR training, etc. We have met with our agency social worker on two occasions, and she wants to meet with us again (individually) before she finishes our home study.
Besides finishing classes, the next big step is our home inspection. Our agency is now ready to schedule this with DES, but we need a pool fence before this takes place. We can't even go on the waiting list until the fence is already installed. Thanks to us owning Derby (our English Bulldog), we got a great quote for the fence (by Bulldog Fencing) that is pretty much the same cost of us installing it ourselves! We were pleasantly surprised as we thought it would be some grueling weekends of digging holes, mitering, and all the other hassles of putting an iron fence around an oval pool. We are hoping to have the fence up in June, and so we can schedule the inspection after that.
Once the inspection takes place, and the home study is written, we are off to court. If our inspection happens in June, then I'm hoping to have our license in August or September.
And to answer the biggest question -- when will we get the children? Sorry, but we have no clue. Some people get placements the day that their license is issued. Other people (way out of the city) have to wait a year. We are opening our home to one or two children under the age of 3. These ages will not hinder us, but our zip code will. They like to place children in the same zip code of where they live, or at least one very close. We don't live right in Phoenix, and so that will be our only hinderance -- and we just don't know how big of a hinderance it will be.
Here is the process: When a child is put into the state's custody, an e-mail notification goes out to all of the agencies. If the child is in the west valley, and meets our criteria, our agency will call us and ask if we would accept this child into our home. After we say yes, our name is provided to DES/CPS. The state's caseworker then looks at all of the available families and places the child in the most appropriate home. The first criteria is the zip code. We will get calls often, but that doesn't mean our name will be picked. The good news is that we have plenty of space; I am practically a stay at home mom; and we are willing to provide transportation for these children (most foster families ask the state to do this). So we have a lot of good things working for us.
I am not a patient person, nor do I like uncertainty. However, ever since we have started the adoption and now foster care plans, I have felt at peace. I know that the right child(ren) will be placed in our home at the right time. Until then, we keep living our lives and we aren't worried about when, who, how, etc.