1. Telephone Screening – 20 minutes
We will answer any questions you have about foster care and complete an initial questionnaire with you over the phone. This allows us to get a quick assessment of some of the minimum requirements and talk with you about your interest in becoming a foster parent.
2. Initial Face-to-face Meeting – 1 hour
We will schedule you to come into our office to talk about your foster care journey and confirm the best approach for you and your schedule. We will address any further questions you may still have about the process and complete your initial background screening paperwork.
3. First Home Visit – 30 minutes
When the background screens are received and approved, we will then schedule our first visit to your home. This visit is a short walkthrough to ensure: 1-your address, 2-there is available space to appropriately accommodate children, and 3-to assess if there are any areas of concern in meeting the State of Florida licensing standards. Please note, you are not required to have the home and bedrooms set up to receive a child during this visit.
4. PRIDE Training – 6 weeks
Once you have successfully completed steps 1-3, we will register you to begin PRIDE training (Parent Resources for Information, Development, and Education). This 7 week course (total of 40 hours) is required by the state to become a licensed foster parent. FSS has classes starting every two to three months, with two class schedule options, weekdays or weekend, to fit your schedule.
5. Licensing Counselor SUPPORT
FSS begins the licensing process during PRIDE training. The licensing and training departments work hand-in-hand together, to ensure a smooth and expedited process. Licensing documentation will be dispersed periodically over the 7 week course. As this documentation is completed, the licensing department will assign a Licensing Counselor to support you. This support Counselor will guide you through the steps to licensing your home for foster care. After licensure, your Counselor will continue to assist you in your fostering experience.
6. Graduation & Licensure
When all PRIDE training is complete and licensing requirements are met, you made it to graduation day! We will then submit your initial licensing packet to the Department of Children and Families (DCF) for approval. Should your packet pass final review, you will officially be a licensed foster parent through DCF in the State of Florida.
7. Placement of Children
Now that you are a licensed foster parent, you are eligible to accept placement of children into your home. You will be added to our master log of available foster homes that lets us what your licensing capacity is, beds available, and what preferences you have, such as age, race, and gender for children coming into your home. When our placement department, better known as Kids Central, gives you a call, they will tell you everything they can about the child they are currently wanting to place in your home. Since the removal of children can be at all hours and is usually an unexpected occurrence, you generally have a short time-frame to accept or deny a placement.