Interested in being a Foster Parent? If so, click here or call  850.453.7777 for more information. Looking for Adoption info? Click here or call  1.866.313.9874.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can a single person be a foster parent?
  2. Is there an upper age limit for foster parents?
  3. What if the parent(s) work outside the home?
  4. How long do foster children stay in foster care?
  5. Do foster children see their biological parents during the time they are in foster care?
  6. How long does it take to be licensed?
  7. Is it true foster parents cannot spank the foster child?
  8. Can a foster child share a room with my child?
  9. Would I have any choice about the types of children or adolescents placed with me?
  10. How many children could I be licensed for?
  11. What kinds of problems do the children generally have?
  12. Once I become licensed, how long would it be before children were placed in my home?
  13. Can we take the foster child with us on vacation?
  14. Can we leave the foster child with a baby-sitter?
  15. Is there a problem with our having pets?
  16. I am a foster parent. How do I set up or make a change to my direct deposit for my board payment?
Q: Can a single person be a foster parent?
A: Yes. We have a number of single people who are excellent foster parents.
Q: Is there an upper age limit for foster parents?
A: Many good foster parents work outside the home, and this is normally not a problem. Employed foster parents may be given a referral for childcare services for foster children in their homes.
Q: What if the parent(s) work outside the home?
A: It’s hard to predict. While foster care is a temporary arrangement for children, the amount of time a child spends in foster care depends on the particular child and his or her parents. The law requires, in most circumstances, that every effort be made to reunite children with their parents as soon as it appears safe for the child. If the child cannot be safely reunited within a certain period of time (12 to 15 months), the law requires that another permanent home be found for the child.
Q: How long do foster children stay in foster care?
A: Foster care is a temporary arrangement for children. The amount of time a child spends in foster care depends on the particular child and his/her parents, and it is hard to predict. The law requires, in most circumstances, that every effort be made to reunite children with their parents as soon as it appears safe for the child. If the child cannot be reunited safely within a certain period of time (12 to 15 months), the law requires that another permanent home be found for the child. Most children do return home within the first 30 days of foster care. If a child cannot safely return home that quickly it often takes from 6 to 18 months to resolve the safety issues or locate another permanent home.
Q: Do foster children see their biological parents during the time they are in foster care?
A: Most children in foster care visit their biological parents on a regular basis – typically weekly – at an FFN office, visitation center, or another location in the community, as part of the court-ordered plan to reunite the family. Foster parents are expected to cooperate with the child’s visitation plan. Foster parents do not have to meet with the child’s parents, but it is in the best interest of the child if the foster parents are willing to work with the biological parents. The location and schedule of visits is arranged between the biological parent(s), the court, and the assigned case manager. Foster parents are expected to assist with transportation to and from visits. If there are transportation difficulties, assistance can be arranged to and from visits.
Q: How long does it take to be licensed?
A: The process to become licensed generally takes about 90 days after you complete an application, training, background screens, and a home study.
Q: Is it true foster parents cannot spank the foster child?
A: Yes. Foster parents are prohibited by law from using any form of physical punishment. Positive, warmth and caring discipline should be used with any child who has experienced trauma.
Q: Can a foster child share a room with my child?
A: Yes. However, each child must have his or her own bed, and children age 3 or older must be of the same gender.
Q: Would I have any choice about the types of children or adolescents placed with me?
A: Absolutely. We license homes for children aged newborn to 17 years old or occasionally, older. Foster parents can specify their preferences as to the ages or genders of the foster children placed in their homes, as well as any behavioral problems they don’t feel equipped to handle. Foster parents should only accept children they believe they can manage. When contacted about a possible placement, you have the right to ask about the child’s known needs and behaviors and accept or refuse placement based on that information.
Q: How many children could I be licensed for?
A: A number of factors affect how many children can be placed with you. Parents are generally licensed for a maximum of five children including your own, assuming the home has adequate facilities to meet the requirements. On occasions where siblings need to be placed together or a larger sibling group of six or more needs a home, an over-capacity waiver can be arranged if a home is found to have sufficient room.
Q: What kinds of problems do the children generally have?
A: Children who have been removed from their homes because of abuse, neglect, or abandonment can exhibit behavioral problems, developmental delays, learning delays, sleep disturbances, bedwetting, or emotional instability. Some may have symptoms of pre-natal alcohol or drug exposure such as irritability, extreme sensitivity to stimulation, distractibility or an inability to learn from consequences. In most cases, these symptoms are mild to moderate. Counseling for the children with special needs is arranged through the child’s case manager.
Q: Once I become licensed, how long will it be before children are placed in my home?
A: It depends on the type of care you want to provide. It is not possible to predict which types of children will need placement. It is likely you will begin receiving calls, soon after your license is issued.
Q: Can we take the foster child with us on vacation?
A: Yes. However, you must notify the case manager, and sometimes the court, for out-of-state travel. It cannot interfere with the child’s visitation as ordered by the court.
Q: Can we leave the foster child with a baby-sitter?
A: Foster parents need a social life of their own. The person employed to baby-sit must be at least 18 years old. Respite care might also be available. Please consult with the child's family services counselor or the foster home development counselor to whom you are assigned.
Q: Is there a problem with our having pets?
A: Generally not. Families and their foster children obviously enjoy pets. We would be concerned only if there were issues of safety, cleanliness, or health factors (i.e. a child’s allergies).
Q: I am a foster parent. How do I set up or make a change to my direct deposit for my board payment?
A: Please contact the Revenue Maximization department by calling 850.437.8892.

Sponsored by Lakeview Center and the State of Florida, Department of Children and Families