Virginia Foster Care FAQ

UMFS knows that becoming a foster parent is hard and rewarding work. We provide unparalleled training and support for foster parents so you feel confident and ready to impact the life of a child or teenager. Foster parent services include:
24/7 on-call support | Up to 10 paid respite dates | Mentoring | Support groups


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Foster Care Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve received a lot of questions from people interested in become foster parents. The follow list is a compilation of the most commonly asked questions with answers from our team. If you have an additional questions that aren’t answered below, please read our other resources or contact us to learn more about foster care.

Who are the children that I would foster? The children in foster care represent all cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. They are frequently part of a sibling group or teens.

Can I adopt a child through the foster system? Yes, in Virginia, 60% of foster youth are adopted by their foster parents.

How long does it take to be certified as a foster parent? The time it takes to become a foster parent varies, but the certification process generally takes three months.

I’m single. Am I able to be a foster parent? Yes, more than 100,000 single persons across the nation are foster parents.

Do I need to be able to hold a job? You must have a steady income that provides for your household needs and financial obligations.

How many foster children will I have? Generally, one child or a sibling group will be placed in your home.

Once a child is placed with me, how long will he/she stay? The length of time a child spends in care varies from less than a year to one to three years or longer.

Will I have to meet/interact with the child’s birth parents? As a foster parent, you may have to arrange and attend meetings with a child’s birth family and participate in activities that support reunification.

What happens when the child returns home? When the child returns home be open to maintaining contact and prepare for your next placement.

What happens when the child is unable to return home? When a child is unable to return home, a plan is developed to provide permanency for him.

What support is available for foster parents? A number of supports are available :24 hour on call support, monthly support groups educational training, respite care

Will a past conviction affect my eligibility to foster? It depends on the type of conviction. There are barrier crimes that are automatic disqualifiers.

How much do foster parents get paid? Foster parents receive a tax free monthly maintenance payment to cover the basic costs of caring for children. The payment amount varies based on the age of the child. If a child’s needs require additional support, an assessment tool will be utilized to determine a rate of additional payment.

Other Helpful Resources

Virginia Foster Care Statistics
Adopting From Foster Care in Virginia
Therapeutic vs. Traditional Foster Care