Child Foster Care
The purpose of foster care is to provide a stable family setting to children when they are unable to remain with their own family. Care is given until the parents can resume their responsibility or until a permanent plan is made with relatives or adoptive parents. Children in foster care usually continue to visit their parents and family until they are reunited.
The ultimate goal of foster care is to remedy the home situation and return the children to their natural parents. Sometimes foster families are asked to provide permanent foster care If reunification with a parent or relative is not possible. Children can be in foster care for as little as 24 hours or up to a year or more.
Emergency / Short Term Care
Foster children can be placed in care any time during the day or night. Emergency foster families typically take children with very little notice and care for them until a relative or long-term placement can be found.
Respite is a short-term program that gives parents and foster parents a needed break from a challenging child. Respite providers go through the same licensing process as other foster care providers. Often times, respite providers are asked to make a commitment for one or two weekends a month for several months or for a week at a time.
Minnesota Statute requires that children in foster care under the age of eight have a permanent home within six months of their initial out-of-home placement. During this time, social services is working with the parents to help improve the conditions that led to the placement so that the children can return to a safe and stable home. Social services is also working on a second plan during this time in case the children are not able to return home. This plan may include searching for relatives or friends who would be willing to provide care for the children on a permanent basis. If this is not possible, foster families are asked to provide permanent foster care, accept a transfer of legal custody or adopt a child in their care.
Relative Foster Care
Relative foster homes are licensed to provide care for a specific child or children with whom they already have a relationship. The provider does not specifically need to be a blood relative, but can be an important friend with whom the child has resided or had significant contact with.
Permanent Foster Care
Permanent Foster Care (also called Concurrent) are foster parents that are interested in providing a legal, permanent home for the child if the child can not return to the parents. Foster parents interested in adopting children in the foster care system fall under this category.