Foster Care & Foster Care Supports
Families First is committed to providing safe and temporary homes for children in Georgia’s foster care system. Our staff provides foster families with the additional resources they need to be successful including: free training, support services and 24-hour access to our Case Specialists.
Steps to Becoming a Foster Parent
This is a mandatory group orientation session where applicants can learn about the foster care program and how to become a foster parent. If you’re interested in participating in one of our orientation classes, call us today at 404-853-2844.
This is a 20-hour mandatory preparation program. IMPACT helps prepare applicants to learn about the foster care system, resources to help meet the need of children in care, child development, woring in partnership with biological parents and the impact foster care will have on their lives and the lives of their family.
After completion of IMPACT training and satisfactory criminal background checks, a written home study of the prospective applicant’s strengths and needs is prepared.
Programs and Support for Foster Care Youth
We’ve traded the concept of “group homes”, for the more positive philosophy of a cooperative, where agency, community, family, and state come together to ensure that community involvement is an integral part of the cooperative experience for our youth. Families First has two (2) Permanency Cooperatives located in metro-Atlanta that offer supportive care for male and female youth between the ages of 13-20 and provides each individual with weekly group counseling sessions. Each cooperative can serve 6-7 teens at one time.
The Independent Living Program provides supportive services to youth transitioning out of the foster care system. Youth, ages 18 to 21, live in scattered site apartments while learning a variety of life skills and being provided linkages to resources to assist in their transition to adulthood.
Each youth will be assigned a Life Coach to assist them with meeting their daily needs, provide emotional support and guidance, and assist them with developing and strengthening the life skills necessary to become a successful, independent adult. Skills and linkages include but are not limited to Education Services, Mentoring, Relationship Skills, Life Skills, Employment Resources, Behavioral Health Services, and Financial Literacy.
A Second Chance Home offers housing and support services for teen mothers between the ages of 13 to 19 with one child between infancy and pre-school age. The program assists young mothers in developing parenting skills, completing their education and becoming self-sufficient.
The Coaching and Comprehensive Health Supports (COACHES) Program recognizes that health, wellness and development of self-management skills are key determinants for successful outcomes for young adults in Georgia’s foster care system. These four key determinants are:
- Life Skills
DFCS Staff and Group Home Providers, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for enrollment forms.
The Families First mentoring initiative is designed to provide support networks for children and youth in foster care, as well as their families. Make it Click supports positive youth development by connecting youth in foster care and our Cooperatives (formerly called group homes) with dedicated volunteers who are committed to developing consistent positive engagement with youth.
Why is Fostering a Child so Rewarding?
Jestena & CharlesFoster Parent
The children in our house make it a home with their contagious laughter and a million and one questions. Absolutely joyful!
The most rewarding part of fostering is when you can see the difference you make in a child's life, especially sibling groups.
The most positive aspect of fostering is being able to provide a loving and nurturing environment for the benefit of children in care and make a difference.
Foster Parent Requirements
If you’re interested in becoming a foster parent, be sure you review this list of requirements.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at 404-853-2844.
- Be 25 years or older (or 23 and married)
- Be a U.S. Citizen or have a declared citizenship status (i.e. green card)
- Have reliable transportation and a valid driver’s license
- Be able to verify annual income
- Have appropriate living environment for children
- Are able to accept teenagers and/or sibling groups of two (2) or more or maybe a teen mother and child
- Have satisfactory criminal record checks
- Have no criminal charges against children
- Complete medical and drug screening
- Have commitment to make a difference in the life of a child
Foster Parent FAQ`s
Foster care is a protective service provided to families experiencing difficulties so severe that the children are temporarily removed from their home and placed in a foster home. In these foster homes, foster parents provide a temporary, safe, stable and nurturing environment until children are able to be return home or reach another permanency goal.
- Families or individuals must be at least 25 years old (23 if married)
- Financially and emotionally stable
- Responsible and willing to work as a part of a team
- Foster and respite parents are culturally diverse, single or married and from all income levels
- No experience with foster care or special needs is required
- You can rent or own your own home and may have other children. Foster families must have a clean and safe home with adequate space for additional child/children.
- Families must attend an orientation, attend IMPACT, a 20-hour training class, and undergo the homestudy process.
All individuals must be able to pass the following screens:
- Criminal history
- Child protective service
- Driving records
- Drug screen
- Medical clearance
- Foster families must have time, flexibility and the desire to make a difference in the life of a child.
The foster parent acts as a full-time caregiver providing a safe, stable and nurturing home until the child returns to his parents or relatives or another permanent plan is made. Foster parents work as part of a treatment team to ensure that the children’s safety, well-being and permanency needs are met and children reach their highest potential.
We currently service children/youth from ages 0-21 years old, male and female of any race. The children that are placed have encountered some level of trauma and are brought into care due to neglect, physical or sexual abuse. We place children with a wide range of emotional, behavioral and medical issues.
Parents are needed for all types of children. However, there is always a great need for parents willing to accept teenagers and large sibling groups of three (3) or more children.
Trainings are scheduled regularly throughout the year. Once families complete IMPACT training, they are eligible to begin the home study process. The time your home study will take is determined by your schedule and the timely submission of your documents. We estimate a family can be approved within 3-6 months.
A home study is document produced from information gathering and an in-depth interview process conducted by licensed social worker. It involves 2-3 home visits where in-person interviews take place with all individual in the home. All results from reference checks, background checks, drug screens and medical information are included in the home study. Home studies are not standardized; they follow state regulations and may vary from state to state. The average home study takes about three to six months to complete.
Foster care is designed to be temporary so on average, children are in foster homes for six to eighteen months. However children can be placed in your home and moved at anytime the courts deem fit.
Families First does not pay foster parents for fostering. However, we do provide a supplemental per diem for families to assist with the care-taking of the children in their home.
Absolutely. While most children in foster care are reunited with family members, reunification for some is not an option. In these cases, foster families may be considered for adoption. Adopting through foster care allows families the opportunity to get to know the child prior to finalizing the adoption.
Contact us at 404-853-2844 and request to attend a Foster Care Orientation. Additional steps include:
- Attend IMPACT Class
- Complete Home Study Process
- Receive Letter of Approval
- Receive Placement