The dedicated individuals we rely on to provide foster care are a valued part of our organization.
Many of our foster families come to us as referrals from current foster parents, which acts as an initial level of screening.
After expressing interest in becoming a foster parent, our social workers reach out to guide the applicant through our screening process. In addition to the standard background check, fingerprint index clearance and home safety inspections, we also conduct one-on-one interviews, training (individual and group), and an independent study program. Interested in more information?
- What is foster care?
- Foster care is a temporary arrangement until a child’s permanent plan is achieved, such as reunification, adoption or guardianship. The goal of foster care is to provide a safe, stable, nurturing environment to children removed from their birth families.
- What is a foster parent's role?
- A foster parent is a person who cares for children/youth who have entered the foster care system. Fostering a child is an opportunity to provide a nurturing and loving environment to a child during a time of crisis.
- What are the requirements for becoming a foster parent?
- To become a licensed foster parent, you must meet with an EA social worker to complete an application, written assessment, home environment assessment, and other required documents. You’ll be provided with 12 hours of pre-approval training, covering trauma-informed care, attachment, cultural competency, etc. In addition, there are basic requirements you must meet in order to be eligible. These include:
- You must be at least 21 years of age
- Pass a background check
- Have adequate space for a child
- Sufficient income
- Adequate transportation
- Good physical and mental health
- Clear ability to work as a team with social workers and service providers
- Ability to understand and support the child's birth families
- Who are the children?
- On any given day, there are over 430,000 children in foster care. They are in your community or the surrounding areas, and they need a loving home. Often, these children have been removed from their caregivers because of abuse, neglect, and/or other unsafe circumstances.
- What should I expect when a foster child arrives to my home?
- Children coming into foster care are not only processing the trauma of the abuse or neglect they faced at home, but the shock of being removed from their family, and placed into a stranger’s home. While the goal as a foster parent is to provide a safe and loving home, a child whose life has been turned upside down may not understand or acknowledge your open-heartedness. It’s likely they will be upset and in extreme distress. Keep in mind, building rapport and trust takes time and patience.
- Do I have to be married to be a foster parent?
- No. We believe families come in many compositions, and EA supports diversity.
- Do I need to own my own home in order to foster?
- No, as long as you have a bedroom available, renters are accepted.
- How do I know if I can afford to be a foster parent?
- The foster parent is expected to be financially stable and meet the needs of their own family. You will receive a monthly reimbursement for each child in placement, in order to help meet their daily needs for shelter, food, clothing, allowance and incidental expenses.
- How long will a foster child stay in my care?
- The length of time varies and will depend on the child’s family situation. For some, their stay in foster care is brief; while for others, foster care lasts longer until a permanent option becomes available.
- What if my foster child gets sick?
- Foster children are eligible for Medi-Cal which covers medical, dental, and counseling services.
We know that the most valuable thing we can do is empower foster parents with the tools and knowledge they need.
To accomplish this, our highly trained social workers perform weekly home visits to provide guidance and support to the family, and ensure the well-being and stability of the family as a whole.
Our foster family program provides a variety of services and referrals.
- Medical or dental treatment
- Substance abuse programs
- Pregnancy prevention information
"Seeing kids and families thrive with our support has been the greatest reward this job has afforded me.”
Melody King Assistant Executive Director
Interested in Fostering a Child?
We highly value each family who is interested in providing quality care to children and do our best to equip and support them through the entire process. There are so many kids that need a strong and supportive family.
If you have questions, or would like to find out more about how you can foster a child, get in touch with us.