Where do I start?

Making the decision to move forward with becoming licensed to provide foster care is often accompanied by lots of questions! We encourage you to contact us directly at 315.235.7286 (Utica) or 315.782.8064 ext. 4023 (Watertown).

Who can be a foster parent?

Foster parents can be of any marital status: single, married, divorced or partnered. Foster parents must be at least 21 years old.

Do I need my own home?

It isn’t necessary that foster parents own their home. As long as you own or rent your home, you can apply to be a foster parent.

Do I have to provide medical expenses?

Foster Parents do not pay for medical expenses except over-the-counter medicine and supplies. Foster children are covered by medical assistance through their county for all medical, dental, and mental health care needs.

Do foster children receive any benefits?

Foster children receive professional staff on call 24/7, individual, family, and group counseling, case management, psychiatric/psychological evaluation/consultation, independent living skill acquisition, and medical staff.

Can I foster even though I am disabled?

Not all disabilities disqualify you from fostering. While there is an emphasis on good health for foster caregivers, disabilities are not necessarily disqualifiers. If fostering will not put your health at risk, a disability will not prevent you from being a foster parent.

Can I foster even though I have a baby?

Do not eliminate the possibility of fostering because you have a baby. When you apply to become a foster parent, your current situation is discussed and assessed. A new baby in your household will bring many changes but these changes do not necessarily mean you cannot foster.

Can I have pets?

Many foster parents have pets. All domesticated animals must have proof of current rabies vaccination. Many foster children respond well to pets. Pets can be a source of comfort and affection for the whole family.

Can I foster and have a full-time job?

People work full-time when they have biological children and it’s no different with foster children. The Case Manager can advise you on childcare options.