- What Is Foster Care?
- What Is Traditional Foster Care?
- What Is TAFY (Therapeutic Foster Care)?
- Who Are Resource Parents?
- Who Are Children In Foster Care?
- Where Do Foster Children Come From?
- How Long Is Temporary?
- What Is The Goal Of Foster Care?
- Are Foster Care And Adoption The Same Thing?
- Can I be Single or Work And still Be a Resource Parent?
- Is Financial Assistance Available?
- Do Resource Parents Have A Choice About Children Who Are Placed With Them?
- What Is the Resource Parent’s Responsibility to the Child?
- How Do I Become A Resource Parent?
- How Do I Begin?
1. What Is Foster Care?
A program that provides a substitute family life experience to children in the community who, for a temporary period of time, cannot be with their own families. The court places the child in the custody of Social Services. There are two types of foster care that Virginia Beach Division of Social Services uses. They are Traditional Foster Care and Therapeutic Foster Care (TAFY).
2. What Is Traditional Foster Care?
Traditional Foster Care provides approved homes that can offer stable, positive home environments for infants, children and teens, who for various reasons are unable to live with their family. The time the child/teen is in foster care varies, with the average stay being thirty-six months.
3. What Is TAFY (Therapeutic Foster Care)?
TAFY provides specialized care for children and teens in our community with behavioral and emotional issues. It is a joint effort through the Virginia Beach Department of Human Services Divisions of Social Services and Child & Youth Services. Our goal is to support these children in the community with all available resources, while they live in a therapeutic family setting. TAFY Parents receive intensive training, higher compensation, 24-hour support services and monthly respite.
4. Who Are Resource Parents?
Resource Parents could be the retired couple next door, the single woman you work with, the clerk in the grocery store, and many others. Resource Parents are professional parents who enjoy parenting and are willing to share their home, time, energy, and love with children who have special problems because of abuse or neglect.
5. Who Are Children In Foster Care?
The children range in age from newborn to 18 years. Most have been victimized by abuse or neglect. Some may be physically or mentally challenged; some may have emotional or behavioral problems left over from their early abuse or neglect. There are many sibling groups (brothers and sisters who should stay together) and children of minority heritage. All the children in foster care need a loving, secure, stable family and home environment.
6. Where Do Foster Children Come From?
Sometimes as a result of abuse, neglect, abandonment, or a death in the family, courts decide that children must be temporarily separated from their families. These children come from all cultural and economic groups within our community.
7. How Long Is Temporary?
A child’s stay in foster care may be as short as overnight or longer depending on the needs of the family and child. An average stay is thirty-six months.
8. What Is The Goal Of Foster Care?
The goal is to reunite the children with their own families. When this is not possible, parental rights may be terminated, and the children may become eligible for adoption or prepared for adult living.
9. Are Foster Care And Adoption The Same Thing?
No. In foster care, Social Services has legal custody of the child and assumes the ultimate responsibility for the child. With adoption, custody and responsibility for the child belong to the adoptive family.
10. Can I be Single Or Work And Still Be A Resource Parent?
Yes. Single parents and working people may be certified, but each situation must be considered individually. These circumstances may affect the type and ages of children who can be placed with you.
11. Is Financial Assistance Available?
A family will receive a maintenance payment on behalf of the child to help with expenses while a child is in their home. Children are also covered under Medicaid for dental, medical and mental health coverage.
12. Do Resource Parents Have A Choice About Children Who Are Placed With Them?
Your preferences, strengths and needs are considered before a child is placed in your home. You are free to ask questions about the child and about their background. You are not required to accept a child into your home. If you feel you cannot accept a child, let the Resource Home Coordinator know.
13. What Is The Resource Parent’s Responsibility To The Child?
The agency entrusts the child’s day–to-day physical and emotional care to the resource parent. You must abide by the agency’s training and discipline policies, which include the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Policy on non-physical discipline.
14. How Do I Become A Resource Parent?
There are 3 main steps. First complete a 9-week training program (1 night per week). Next, a home study is completed through home visits, interviews, references, criminal and DMV checks. Finally, a committee reviews everything and approves resource families. Once approved you can foster a child, and if the option arises, adopt a child.
15. How Do I Begin?
For more information or to start the process to become a resource parent, contact
(757) 437-3292 or (757) 437-3435.
Virginia Beach Resource Parent Program will provide services to its foster children without regard to age, gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, or type of illness or condition.