- Collaborative Foster Care
- Foster Care
"Every kid is one caring adult away from being a success story." - Josh Shipp
What Is Foster Care?
Foster care is temporary care of a youth until they can return home, emancipate or are adopted (if parental rights are terminated). This can last anywhere from overnight to several months and even years.
Goal of Reunification
From the time a youth is removed from their home, their caseworker and child welfare team work diligently to plan for permanency for the youth. Permanency is achieved through the youth returning home, long term placement with a relative or kin, emancipation or adoption.
Our main priority is safety and well-being for the youth, and we value the bond and relationships youth have with their family. We believe and research indicates youth have a better chance at success when they are with family; therefore, reunification with family is our main goal.
Youth return home or are placed with a relative or kin 80-90% of the time. In 2016, 651 youth were successfully reunified with family!
Role of Foster Parent
“The foster parents do not replace the parental authority of the child’s family, but rather become reunification partners, supporting and maintaining the child’s connection with the birth family.” Annie E Casey, 2001: Recruitment, Training and Support: The essential tools of foster care.
As a Foster Parent, you will meet the day-to-day needs of the youth placed in your home. You are not their guardian, nor will you have legal custody of a youth in your care, but you are a vital member of our team. You must be able to provide for the youth unconditionally. The responsibilities are significant, but the rewards are great!
Begin Your Journey into Foster Care
"It’s a long and frustrating road, you will cry and fight and abandon and rekindle your will time and time again, but in the end it will all be worth it."
Open your heart and open your home to a youth in need. We are ready to take this journey with you. We estimate the process to become certified with our program will take approximately 5.6 months (24 weeks). Here are the steps needed to begin your journey into foster care with Arapahoe, Douglas and Jefferson County Human Services.
Step 1: Information Night
Information Night will provide you with a brief overview of the youth in foster care, the role of a foster parent and the process to becoming certified with the Collaborative Foster Care Program. Attendance at Information Night is required before you will be provided pre-application paperwork and before you begin the Pre-Service Training. Learn more about Information Night.
Step 2: Pre-Application Paperwork & Meeting
Pre-application paperwork is provided to you at Information Night.
After attending Information Night, you will receive information on accessing the online portal, which will walk you through how to apply to become a certified caregiver. Once you submit the pre-application, we will schedule a meeting with you to discuss your desires to become a foster family.
Step 3: Pre-Service Training
As a prospective foster and/or adoptive family you are required to attend 30 hours of Pre-Service Training provided by the Collaborative Foster Care Program.
Step 4: Application
As a prospective family you will submit the following as part of the application process. The online portal will walk you through the process.
- Signed and initialed Collaborative Foster Care Program Agreement
- Colorado Department of Human Services Original Application to Care for Children (CWS-61), including an Affidavit of US Citizenship
- Background Check Consent Form
- Release of Information form for: previous agencies where applied, certified, or had a completed home study, if applicable; and therapeutic services for any household member within the last five years
- Signed Medical and Recreational Marijuana Attestation indicating no active status/use
- Copies of driver’s licenses, insurance and car registration for all persons providing transportation
- Family photo
- SAFE Questionnaire I for each applicant
- Health evaluations for all household members
- CPR/First Aid Certification
- Criminal record checks including CBI and FBI fingerprint checks for all adults (18 and over) in the home
- Financial statement & copies of recent tax return
- Three references (only one of which can be a family member)
Step 5: Structured Analysis Family Evaluation (SAFE) Home Study Process
As a prospective foster family you must participate in the Structured Analysis Family Evaluation (SAFE) home study process. A SAFE home study is an overall assessment of the physical and emotional environment of your home and family. Interviews are conducted with each member of your household.
Step 6: Approval, Withdrawal or Denial of Certification Application
The home study is reviewed by our program regarding your family’s strengths and/or challenges and a decision will be made regarding approval or denial of the foster care application.
- If approved, your family will become eligible for one or more children to be placed in your home.
- You are able to withdraw from the application process at any time by informing a member of our team. If certification is not suitable for either the prospective foster family or the program, application withdrawal may be requested.
- If denied, your family will receive written notification and instructions for submitting an appeal, if desired