Questions & Answers

What are the steps to becoming a foster parent?

1. Complete Step 1 Qualifications

2. Once you have completed and passed Step 1, continue to Step 2 BCI

3.Complete Step 3 Crossroads Application

4.Complete Step 4 Pre- Service Training

What are classes like that prepare parents to care for children in foster care?

There are 24 lessons (32 total hours) of pre-service training. Topics include Division of Child and Family (DCFS) policy, Medicaid policy, abuse and neglect issues, child sexual abuse, how abuse and neglect affect children’s development, attachment, separation, and grief issues for children, discipline, cultural issues, primary families, affects of care giving on the caregiver and adoption issues. This informative training, which is provided in English, gives foster parents essential tools to care for children placed in their care. Our training is offered on-line for your convenience!

Is there a need for foster parents?

Yes! Currently there are more than 2,600 diverse children in the state of Utah’s (DCFS) custody. In the Salt Lake Area alone, there are about 1,100 children in foster care and less than 400 foster families.

Who are the children in need of homes?

Children in foster care have the same interests, abilities, dreams and needs as all children. They come from all ethnic and religious backgrounds. These children have been removed from their homes because of abuse, neglect or life threatening conditions. These children need safety, security, attention and support. They need an understanding and loving family. Often they have serious emotional and behavioral problems that require supervision, guidance and psychological counseling.

What are the ages of children in foster care?

Children in foster care range in age from infants to teenagers. Especially needed are ethnically diverse families who can help children maintain their cultural identities. We also need families to care for teenagers, children who are medically fragile and sibling groups.

How long does a child usually stay in foster care?

The average time a child stays in foster care is 9 – 12 months. A child may be in your home for a few weeks, months or even years. The length of stay depends on the needs of the child and his/her parent’s participation in their service program. The child’s caseworker works with foster parents regarding placement goals and needs of the child.

Do I get to choose the children who come into my home?

Foster parents select the age range and gender of the children that come into their home. They can help decide if a child is appropriate for their situation. These children have already suffered serious disruption from being removed from their homes. Every attempt is made to initially match a child to a family who is able to meet the child’s individual needs. This prevents the child from being moved from home to home. Children can be matched with the best foster family when there are a large number of foster families to choose from, which often means that families may wait for a placement.

What kind of financial/medical help is available?

Foster parents are reimbursed by the state for the case of caring for a child. The rate of basic care depends upon the experience of the foster family. Foster parents who are caring for children with significant behavioral or medical problems may be reimbursed at a higher rate. Medicaid covers children’s medical, dental, and psychological needs.

If both parents work full time can they be foster parents?

Yes. School-aged children and teenagers may be placed in homes where both parents work, depending upon the needs of the child. DCFS does not reimburse foster parents for day care and it is the responsibility of the foster parent to maintain 24 hour supervision.

Is there a limit on the number of children that can be in a foster home?

There is no limit to the number a family may have prior to becoming a foster parent. However, there can be no more than three foster children in the home, unless they are sibling group.

What are the required physical aspects of my home?

The home should be clean, adequately furnished, in good repair, free from health and fire hazards and comply with local fire ordinances. A foster home must be equipped with a smoke detector on each level, a fire extinguisher, a working telephone and a first aid kit. All firearms, ammunition, medication, and hazardous chemicals (cleaning supplies) must be kept locked in storage. Children in foster care may share a bedroom with another child of the same sex and compatible age; however, a separate bed must be provided for each child. An individual’s room must have no less than 40 square feet (8′ x 5′). If children share a bedroom, they must each have 80 square feet (10′ x 8′). Crossroads Youth Services will send you a complete list of requirements after your BCI application has been submitted (Step 2).

Can foster parents adopt children?

Yes. However, the primary goal of DCFS is to protect children and strengthen families. DCFS staff work with families to resolve concerns that led to the initial removal of the child from their primary home. Parents who children are in foster care have 12 to 18 months from the time of their child’s removal to remedy their problems. During this time, the intent of DCFS is to return children to the care of their biological parents. Foster parents play a key role in supporting and mentoring the birth family. If the biological parents do not improve the situation in the home, DCFS may seek to terminate the parent’s rights, thus freeing the child for adoption.

Families interested in adopting through the state of Utah must presume the risk that the child will return to the care of the biological parents. Foster families need to be supportive of DCFS efforts to return children to their natural families. If the child you are fostering becomes available for adoption, you may ask to be considered with other adoptive parents. Foster/adoptive parents may adopt a child and still continue to foster, if they choose. There is no guarantee that foster parents will be able to adopt the children placed in their home.

What is the difference between Utah Foster Care Foundation and Crossroads Youth Services (Private Provider) and what is the organization’s history?

Utah Foster Care Foundation belongs to the state, Crossroads Youth Services is a private agency contracted with the state of Utah. Utah Foster Care Foundation clients are known as "Foster" children, private agencies such as Crossroads Youth Services clients are known as "Proctor" children.

Following a lawsuit and settlement agreement in 1994, the state legislature increased funding for the state’s child welfare system (Division of Child and Family Services) to improve services to children and families.  At this time, the number of licensed foster/adoptive families in Utah was declining.  Governor Michael Leavitt and Lt. Governor Olene Walker, commissioned a panel to study the child welfare system and address the decreasing number of available foster families in Utah. The panel recommended the creation of a public/private partnership with a non-profit organization charged with developing innovative strategies to recruit, train and assist the Division in their support of foster/adoptive families. 

What has Crossroads Youth Services achieved?

  • Recruited, trained and graduated over a 100 families
  • Consistently met or exceeded the annual recruitment and training goals established by Division of Child and Family Services
  • Provided more than 5,000 individuals with one-on-one answers to inquiries on foster parenting and requests for information
  • Developed a training program using curriculum that is consistent and offered to families in every community
  • Responsible for over 12 adoptions
  • Been in business for over 11 years
  • Have more than 18 years experience with DJJS and DCFS

Is Crossroads Youth Services part of state government?

No, Crossroads Youth Services (CRYS) is Incorporated, Inc.  The Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS) in Utah contracts with CRYS to recruit train and help to support foster families in Utah. DCFS identifies their regional placement needs and determines a target number of families to be recruited and trained for each community.  Recruitment goals include the number of families to be recruited and trained in each community.

Will Utah ever have enough foster/adoptive families?

Unfortunately, the need for foster/adoptive families in every community in Utah is ongoing and consistent.  Children continue to enter Utah’s foster care system and foster/adoptive families leave the system, most often for positive reasons such as adoption of children from foster care.

How can you support children in foster care?

There are many ways to support children in foster care and the families that care for them.  Crossroads Youth Services is always in need of donations and volunteers to meet the needs of families and children.  For more information on how you can support children and families call 801-528-3247.

Can we have pets?

Yes! Dogs and cats must have a current shot record and license. Animals that bite or possibly attack must be locked up to ensure the safety of a child.

 

 

 

 

 

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