Full-Time Professional Foster Parent
$500 Sign-On Bonus
Change a child's life for the better- become a Professional Foster Parent! We are searching for candidates interested in becoming full-time Professional Foster Parents for children and adolescents in the Fort Lauderdale area.
The goal of foster care is to provide for the physical, emotional and social needs of youth in an “alternate” family setting until the biological family can be reunited or a permanent placement plan can be successfully achieved.
All of us are responsible for the well being of children in the custody of the Department of Children and Families (DCF). The children’s caregivers along with the Florida Department of Children and Families, community-based care (CBC) organizations, their subcontractors and staffs of these agencies undertake this responsibility in partnership, aware that none of us can succeed by ourselves.
Children need normal childhoods as well as loving and skillful parenting which honors their loyalty to their biological family. The purpose of the Department of Children & Family's Partnership Plan for Children in Out-of Home Care is to articulate a common understanding of the values, principles and relationships necessary to fulfill this responsibility. The following commitments are embraced by all of us.
1. To ensure that the care we give our children supports their healthy development and gives them
the best possible opportunity for success, caregivers and DCF, CBC and agency staff will work
together in a respectful partnership.
2. All members of this partnership will behave professionally, will share all relevant information promptly,
and will respect the confidentiality of all information related to the child and his or her family.
3. Caregivers, the family, DCF, CBC and agency staff will participate in developing the plan for the
child and family, and all members of the team will work together to implement this plan. This
includes caregiver participation in all team meetings or court hearings related to the child’s care
and future plans. DCF, CBC and agency staff will support and facilitate caregiver participation
through timely notification, an inclusive process and providing alternative methods for participation
for caregivers who cannot be physically present.
4. Excellent parenting is a reasonable expectation of caregivers. Caregivers will provide and DCF,
CBC and agency staff will support excellent parenting. This requires a loving commitment to the
child and the child’s safety and well being, appropriate supervision and positive methods of
discipline, encouragement of the child’s strengths, respect for the child’s individuality and likes and
dislikes, providing opportunities to develop the child’s interests and skills, awareness of the impact
of trauma on behavior, equal participation of the child in family life, involvement of the child with
the community and a commitment to enable the child to lead a normal life.
5. Children will be placed only with caregivers who have the ability and are willing to accept
responsibility for the care of a child in light of the child’s culture, religion and ethnicity, special
physical or psychological needs, unique situation including sexual orientation and family
relationships. DCF, CBC and agency staff will provide caregivers with all available information to
assist them in determining whether they are able to appropriately care for a child. Caregivers
must be willing and able to learn about and be respectful of the child’s religion, culture and
ethnicity, and any special circumstances affecting the child's care. DCF, CBC and agency staff
will assist them in gaining the support, training and skills necessary for the care of the child.
6. Caregivers will have access to and take advantage of all training they need to improve their skills
in parenting children who have experienced trauma due to neglect, abuse or separation from
home, to meet these children’s special needs and to work effectively with child welfare agencies,
the courts, the schools and other community and governmental agencies.
7. DCF, CBC and agency staff will provide caregivers with the services and support they need to
enable them to provide quality care for the child.
8. Once a family accepts the responsibility of caring for the child, the child will be removed from that
family only when the family is clearly unable to care for him or her safely or legally, when the child
and his or her biological family are reunified, when the child is being placed in a legally permanent
home in accordance with the case plan or court order, or when the removal is demonstrably in the
child’s best interest.
9. If a child must leave the caregiver’s home for one of these reasons and in the absence of an
unforeseeable emergency, the transition will be accomplished according to a plan which involves
cooperation and sharing of information among all persons involved, respects the child’s
developmental stage and psychological needs, ensures they have all their belongings, and allows
for a gradual transition from the caregiver’s home and, if possible, for continued contact with the
caregiver after the child leaves.
10. When the plan for the child includes reunification, caregivers and agency staff will work together to
assist the biological parents in improving their ability to care for and protect their children and to
provide continuity for the child.
11. Caregivers will respect and support the child’s ties to his or her biological family (parents, siblings
and extended family members) and will assist the child in visitation and other forms of
communication. DCF, CBC and agency staff will provide caregivers with the information,
guidance, training and support necessary for fulfilling this responsibility.
12. Caregivers will work in partnership with DCF, CBC and agency staff to obtain and maintain
records that are important to the child's well being including child resource records, medical
records, school records, photographs, and records of special events and achievements.
13. Caregivers will effectively advocate for children in their care with the child welfare system, the
court, and community agencies, including schools, child care, health and mental health providers,
and employers. DCF, CBC and agency staff will support them in doing so and will not retaliate
against them as a result of this advocacy.
14. Caregivers will participate fully in the child’s medical, psychological and dental care as they would
for their biological child. Agency staff will support and facilitate this participation. Caregivers,
DCF, CBC and agency staff will share information with each other about the child's health and well
15. Caregivers will support the child’s school success by participating in school activities and
meetings, including IEP (Individualized Education Plan) meetings, assisting with school
assignments, supporting tutoring programs, meeting with teachers and working with an
educational surrogate if one has been appointed and encouraging the child’s participation in extracurricular activities. Agency staff will facilitate this participation and will be kept informed of the
child’s progress and needs.
Among other responsibilities and expectations of excellent parenting, foster parents are expected to:
• Provide a safe and comfortable home.
• Provide for the child’s basic physical and emotional needs in a nurturing home and family environment.
• Facilitate school attendance and monitor academic progress, note special needs and accomplishments.
• Attend to medical and dental needs.
• Cooperate with visitation plans and play an active role in reaching the youth's ultimate goal either of reunification or permanent placement.
• Maintain a record of the child’s time in care: photos, report cards, etc.
• Keep information confidential regarding the child and their family.
Responsibilities to the agency
• Keep the agency informed of problems and progress.
• Keep the agency informed of changes in your home.
• Participate in reviews and court hearings with regards to the child.
• Comply with the agency’s training policy.
• Comply with state regulations
Responsibilities to the biological parents
• Help the child maintain an emotional bond and involvement with the parents and extended
family members, if parental rights are retained.
• Provide information about the child’s growth, developments, likes, dislikes, etc.
• Aid in facilitating parental involvement in important aspects of the child’s life.
Responsibilities to the foster parents own family
• Discuss with all family members the decision to provide foster care.
• Make every effort to maintain usual lifestyle and relationships.
• Discuss the impact taking in foster children may have on the family routine.
• Prepare all members for the arrival of foster children.
• Monthly reimbursement
• Medical and dental assistance for the child