What’s the difference between being a foster parent with Arrow Child & Family Ministries or with the state?
A Christian Experience
Arrow Child & Family Ministries was founded under the calling of Christ to do His work through the agency. Our entire agency’s foundation is based on biblical principles. You will find Christ’s message alive in our Foster and Adoptive Parent training, our community life and fellowship activities, and in the staff working by your side. Children Served & Treatment Philosophy
Arrow Child & Family Ministries specializes in treatment foster care. The State will only license families to work with “basic” foster children. These children are supposed to have only minimal adjustment problems and require little specialized services. The State contracts with Arrow Child & Family Ministries to provide services to children with more therapeutic needs – you will be working with those children that have suffered the most abuse and are having a difficult time coping with it. Your love and guidance is so desperately needed for these children.
We would like to become a group home. Can we do that with you?
Perhaps, but not likely. Group homes usually take care of 8 to 12 children at a time. Arrow Child & Family Ministries believes that every child has the right to live in a family setting. Because of this belief, in addition to the fact that you will be caring for therapeutic children, we do not license group homes. However, we are aware that a few children actually do better in a group home setting, so after you have been a foster parent with us for many years, or you are currently a group home with another agency and would like to transfer to us, we may consider you on a case-by-case basis.
What does Arrow Child & Family Ministries offer that other agencies don’t?
All agencies offer one or two things that will meet your needs better than others. We are looking for families who are passionate, committed, and want to foster or adopt because they feel called to do so; families that feel led by Christ to do His will by taking care of His children. Because of this, a partnership with Arrow Child & Family Ministries might not be right for you. But if you’re looking for an agency that believes in matching kids with families rather than placing kids in “beds,” an agency that has extremely high standards and expectations from both staff and our parents, and an agency that believes that by fostering or adopting you are living Christ’s word, Arrow Child & Family Ministries might be right for you. We are not the easiest, we require a lot, but the reward is great.
Can we take the foster children out of town or on vacation?
Yes. Road trips and vacations are part of any family. Because your foster children are actually wards of the state we do need to get permission for them to travel out of state or region. Just work with your Arrow staff and this should be no problem.
What does it take to be a foster or adoptive parent with Arrow Child & Family Ministries?
We ask that our foster and adoptive parents:
- Be a responsible, mature, healthy Christian adult capable of meeting the needs of children in care
- Be at least 25 years of age
- Have no criminal record or history of abusing children
- Have been married, divorced, or widowed for at least one year
- Not be dependent on the reimbursement from fostering to support yourself / your family
- Be willing to abide by a policy of no physical discipline
- Have a driver’s license and auto insurance (provide copy) and dependable transportation
- Have a bedroom of adequate size (our staff will acquaint you with the requirements for your state)
- Be a legal resident of the U.S.
- Complete Ambassador Family Initiative pre-service training
- Your home must pass a health and fire inspection
- Become certified (and maintain certification) in CPR and First Aid
- Earn 40 hours of observation
- Earn 30 hours of in-service training annually per foster/adopt parent if married, or 50 hours of in-service training annually if single.
- Provide a photograph of all family and of home
- Secure water test (exempt if on city water)
- Provide copy of current pet vaccinations
- Furnish drawing of home floor plan with dimensions and use of each room
- Obtain TB tests for all residents in the home
- Complete doctor and dentist form (must accept Medicaid), weapon inventory form, release of information form, and outdoor recreation form
- Provide copy of marriage license (if applicable)
- Undergo a Home Study (see below)
Can I drink alcohol around the foster children?
Yes. Arrow Child & Family Ministries does not forbid the consumption of alcohol. However, we do ask that you are always a responsible drinker.
What exactly is a “Home Study”?
An interview. Simple put, a “Home Study” is an interview with you, your spouse (if applicable) and your biological children (if applicable). If you are single with no children, the interview is only with you. However, if you have a spouse or children, our staff will interview everyone individually, and then as a family, and you and your spouse together. Fostering takes patience, love, good communication, but most importantly, it takes commitment. The Home Study is designed to help us, and you, make sure that you are ready for this compassionate challenge! We ask questions about your childhood, your parents, grandparents, and extended family, your work history, your marriage or dating life, your finances, even your pets! Most home studies take between 4 and 8 hours to conduct, but we will walk you through the process so you feel comfortable and at ease.
How do we get the 30 or 50 hours of training every year?
We provide it! For your convenience we offer more than 50 hours of continuing education every year. You are also more than welcome to attend training that is relevant to foster care and of interests you. You may also receive training hours by reading books, watching videos, and listening to audio tapes.
Do you have to have interviews from our children if they are NOT living in our home?
Yes. We will need to secure confidential references from all of your adult children. This can be done either by phone or mail.
How do you match the children with our homes?
We do it together! Having a child come live with you is a big commitment, so finding the right match is crucial! We have a pretty good sense of your family’s personality, strengths, and desires because of the extensive training you attended and your home study. When CPS calls us with a child, we begin to look for families that “match” what you are looking for and what the child needs.
Once we narrow down your family as a possible match, our Intake Staff will contact you and give you all the information we have on the child. This is very important! We want you to make an informed decision to accept this child, because once they are in your home the goal is to keep the child with you until they can go back home. When we both agree that the child would be a good match for your family we will work with you and the state caseworker to schedule pre-placements or the actual placement.