Foster Care / Adoption


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.

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 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.

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 much money do I have to make?

You have to be able to cover all of your current expenses without counting the foster care reimbursement rate. In other words, Arrow Child & Family Ministries requires that you are able to pay all of your current bills including food, mortgage, car note, insurance, entertainment, etc. We will ask to see a copy of your income statements and will ask about your bank accounts to verify that the foster children’s reimbursement is being used on them and not as a source of income for you.

What ages are the kids?

Birth to 18. However, most of our children are school age. Many of the foster children referred to us are in Jr. High or High School and we have very few homes that work with them; consequently we turn away those kids resulting in their living in shelters, or large group homes. Although you choose what ages you would like to be considered for, we strongly encourage you to offer your home to a child over the age of 12.

Can we use training from another agency?

Yes. If you are currently licensed with another agency or the state and wish to transfer to Arrow Child & Family Ministries we can accept some (or all) of your training. Our staff will review what training you have and design a specific training plan for you to join the Arrow Child & Family Ministries family. We then ask that you attend a graduating class of our Ambassador Family Initiative training within 6 months of joining us.

How long does the licensing process take?

About 45 to 60 days. How quickly you become licensed with Arrow Child & Family Ministries has a lot to do with how focused and motivated you are. If the timing is right, you are diligent in turning in your paperwork and signing up for the next available Ambassador Family Initiative Pre-Service, and have nothing in the way of a criminal record that needs further exploration by Arrow Child & Family Ministries you could be licensed in as soon as 45 days. Other factors that play a part in your timeframe include getting your reference checks back and making sure that your home has been inspected, pet vaccinations are current, etc.

How long will it take to place a child in my home?

That depends. You hear about children housed in shelters and crowded into large group homes. It’s true, there are hundreds of children waiting to be placed in your loving home. However, Arrow Child & Family Ministries works to find the right match between your family and the foster child. We do not just place children in your home because you have an opening; that type of placement is destined to fail. We match a child’s age, behaviors, personality, needs, etc., specifically to your family. Think of it as a puzzle; our job (yours and mine) is to find the right piece to fit the right space. If we just start trying to shove pieces into mismatched spaces, they simply don’t fit and a complete picture will never emerge. Arrow Child & Family Ministries is proud that we take this stand. We are well respected by CPS for truly matching children and not just placing them into a “bed.”

We will work with you to determine what age group and type of child you would be most comfortable working with. The more specific and narrow you are, the longer it may take to find that “match” for your home. For example, if you say you only want to work with “Six-year-old girls with one blue eye and one green eye,” then you need to be prepared to wait a long time for that “match” to come around. However, if you are open and flexible to the age and type of child you are willing to work with, especially teenagers and sibling groups, we might have a placement waiting for you the day you get licensed with us!

Is there a lot of paperwork involved once we have a child?

There is some, but not too much! Once the initial application packet is completed, the rest of the paperwork occurs once you have a child in your home. We believe that our Foster Parents are the key agent of change in a child’s life, and documentation on the child is very important since it is read by judges, lawyers, case-workers, therapists, etc. You will be trained how to document progress and ask that a note be written on a child about every other day letting us know the child’s successes and areas to keep working on. Lastly you will need to put your initials on a form when you give a child medication, and at the end of the month complete your expense report so we can reimburse you for things such as mileage, respite, etc.

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