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Thank you for your interest in becoming a foster parent. Being a foster parent is an opportunity to help support a child and their family while they work through a challenging time in their lives. It allows you to assist children and youth build confidence and resilience with opportunities to learn and grow. Foster parents are essential in the reunification of families and can help change the lives of parents and children in our communities.
DFS Foster Parent Information Sessions are held once per month in New Castle County and once a month in Kent or Sussex Counties. Sessions are normally held on a Tuesday or Wednesday from 6pm – 9pm (dates and locations may vary). At this time, sessions are held virtually.
Click the register button below and complete the Information Session Form. Someone will contact you promptly.
The Foster Parent Portal will guide you through each of the required steps to becoming a foster parent or foster family. The Portal is your one-stop shop to tell us information about yourself and your family, register for trainings, and coordinate with the Division of Family Services.
Foster care is the temporary care in your home for a child who has been removed from their home due to abuse, neglect, or dependency. Children in need of foster homes range in age from infants through teens and come from all racial and ethnic groups. Some children have special physical or educational needs, and many require special support to catch up both educationally and socially with their peers.
The best place for children is with their families and the goal for most foster children is to return to their parent or guardian when the circumstances that led to the foster placement have been resolved. However, sometimes there are circumstances that require children to be moved into a foster home. While children are in a foster home, the birth parent can focus on resolving difficult, personal issues. Caseworkers and foster parents will work with the children’s biological family to help make necessary changes.
By welcoming a child into your home and showing them love and guidance, you are giving them a gift that will benefit the child for the rest of their life. And while most children in foster care return to their parents or another family member, your time with them will allow them to live in your heart forever.
Foster and adoptive families play a vital role to the children served by the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families (DSCYF). Right now, we are actively recruiting families to give children the loving, safe, and stable home that they need and deserve. We are happy to work with families who are willing to provide a safe and supportive environment to any of our children, though we are particularly in need of families who can open their homes to teens, sibling groups, youth with special needs and medically fragile children.
At any given time, there are over 500 children in Delaware who need foster families to keep them safe and nurture them during a very difficult time in their lives. In addition, there is a need for respite families. Respite families are homes where foster children can go for very short periods of time to give the primary foster family a break or time to deal with family emergencies, for example. Respite families receive training and support just like foster families.
Most foster parents in Delaware are connected with the Division of Family Services’ Foster Care Program. The first step to become a DFS foster parent is to attend a 3-hour information session which will provide an overview of foster care, important information regarding the process, and connect you with the next step in the process.
If you have ever considered fostering but just haven’t followed through yet, then please take the next step by attending one of the DFS Foster Parent Information Sessions. You don’t have to be perfect to foster or adopt a child. What our children need most is Love ~ Our Kids Matter.
Not ready to become a foster parent? There are still ways you can help!
The list is as long as your imagination. Think of something you would provide your own children or grandchildren and add it to this list! Please help us think of a child in foster care and provide him or her with the little things to ensure safety, stability, self-esteem, and a sense of hope!
Contact DSCYF_FosterCare@delaware.gov for more information on how to help a child in foster care.
Yes! As a foster parent, you can have up to five children living in your home, including your own.
Yes! Family connections are important. We attempt to keep siblings together.
Yes. Before you become a foster parent, we will discuss at length details and the ages that will fit best into your family. When we ask you to take a child, we will tell you as much as we know about the child. You will decide then if this is a child you can care for. It is better to tell us “no” if you don’t think you can care for the child than for the child to be moved from foster home to foster home. We are most in need of homes that are willing to take teenagers, children with special needs, and children with complex medical issues.
Yes. Every year several children in foster care in Delaware who become legally free for adoption are adopted by their foster parents. Foster parents must recognize that the best place for most children is with their own families. Most children want above all else to be with their own families. Foster parents must truly commit themselves to working with the agency to support and encourage birth parents to resolve issues so the children can be reunified with their families. When birth parents do not resolve their problems and Family Court terminates the parents’ parental rights, foster parents often ask to be considered to become the child’s adoptive parents. If foster parents do not adopt the child, foster parents help the child make a successful transition to an adoptive family.
No, foster parents do not get paid, however, they receive a non-taxable stipend to care for each child placed in their home. The stipend is to assist them in the care of the child. The range of the stipend can be anywhere from $20 to $55 per day for each child, based on the age of the child, his/her needs, the foster parent’s skills, training, and level of service they agree to provide. Additionally, Medicaid is provided to cover a child’s medical, dental, and counseling needs.
1825 Faulkland Road
Wilmington, DE 19805