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Becoming a Foster Parent in Georgia

May 11, 2015
A girl draws on a piece of paper.

Thousands of Georgia’s children are faced with the scary transition of entering the foster care system. Whether the circumstances involve an abusive or neglectful parent or abandonment, these kids have to deal with heavy amounts of confusion during this point in their lives.

Have you ever felt the need to help children in foster care? Do you feel as if you could open up your home and become a foster parent? Here are some basic facts about becoming a foster parent through the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services:

What are the basic qualifications for becoming a foster parent?

Foster parents must be at least 10 years older than the child they are seeking to foster. If you are single, you must be at least 25 years old to apply.

Prospective foster parents have to pass a medical exam as well as a fingerprint check, go through a Georgia Child Protective Services screening, pass a national Sex Offender Registry check, a Pardons and Paroles system screening, as well as a screening in the Department of Corrections database. In addition to all this, a foster parent must show stability, maturity and a positive mentoring attitude for the child they are looking to foster.

What is the first step to learning more about the fostering process?

Before you do anything, you need to call the DFCS foster parent information line at 1-877-210-KIDS. You’ll speak with a DFCS employee who will provide you information, as well as tell you when and where the next orientation and training will be held in your county.

Do foster parents need any type of training?

Yes. The Georgia Department of Family and Children Services has developed a training program called IMPACT. This program is meant to be a continual guide for foster parents, following them through the early stages of interest in fostering, all the way to an evaluation of the home in preparation for child placement. IMPACT begins with a 2-hour in-person orientation and follows with 20 training modules that last 1 hour each. These modules are available online.

For more information about the fostering process, check out the foster care section on the DFCS website, or read some FAQs on the Giving Children A Chance website. The positive impact you can have on a child in foster care can be a priceless and fulfilling experience for everyone in your home. 

About the Author

A Georgia native, Rachael Wheeler works as a Blogger for GeorgiaGov. She writes about a variety of current topics relevant to the Georgia government.

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