I’m having this sneaking feeling that I have already forgotten some of the process…but I have my handy dandy notebook (I miss Blue’s Clues!! sniff sniff) to help me. On the notebook comment..I have several notebooks. This one is for all of our training paperwork, certificates from classes, inspections….etc. Basically all the things to prove we are licensed. & believe it or not it came in very handy when our home was randomly picked by the state to be inspected! that’s for another post another day…& I will definitely have a post w/ all my “tips” which include more on the notebooks I keep…back to our process….this may be WAY more than you want to know, but I thought I’d be super detailed for those who do want to know all this!
November 14, 2007 I started filling out the 11 page Application. Here’s some of the things it asked…
- Full names of Robbie & I, SSN, Drivers License, Birth Place…all that basic info
- Places we’ve lived the last 3 years
- contact info
- Info on previous spouses (not applicable to us)
- Children in household
- Types of children which you are interested in providing adoption &/or foster care services, things such as number of children, age, race, gender, special needs (this doesn’t apply to Christian HOmes too much as they only take “Basic” level kids. More on that later)
- Dr & Dentist info
- Discipline info
- Criminal background
- Things about your family
- Why you want to be foster parents
- List of these people to get references from: Pastor, Elder, Employers, Doctor, neighbor,friend, His parents & her parents.
- Signature authorizing Christian Homes to do a criminal history search on you
- Employment information
- Medical Conditions
- Schools attended
CH (Christian Homes) took longer than usual to start our process…they were in the middle of their huge annual fundraiser planning, & also short a case worker….
A few weeks later we received a letter from Christian Homes of all the items we needed to start working on for our licensing…(if any of you ever need contact numbers for these places let me know! I’m just not posting them here)
- Health Inspection. Yes, this is the Smith county health inspector who does the inspections at restaurants. He checked all the sinks, toilets, temperature of our milk, perimeter of the house & other basic sanitary things. ($25)
- Fire Inspection. The Smith county fire marshall came out herself. She checked door locks, (can’t have any on bedroom doors), smoke alarms in every room & hall, fire extinguishers, escape route posted….etc. ($10)
- FBI fingerprints. We went to the local gun store to get this done! ($40 each? I think?)
- Statement of Good Health from your Dr.
- TB tests for all persons over the age of one year old ( I heard recently that you can have this done at the health dept! I bet that’s cheaper than your dr….but I’m completely just assuming that)
- CPR/First Aid for infants & adults (we paid $50 for each of us…but there are free classes if you catch them right!)
- Floor plan with fire escape route…for CH & posted in the Foster Bedroom
- High School &/or College diplomas
- Proof of auto & health insurance
- Copy of Drivers Licenses & Social Security Cards
- Record of Residence…all the places you’ve lived your whole life
- Budget Sheet (your income & how you spend it all)
- Copy of current pet vaccination(s)
- Picture of all family members including pets
- Photos or drawings of outside areas showing buildings, driveways, fences, bodies of water..etc…
Jan 2, 2008 first meeting w/ their current case worker & the new one (this was literally her first day!)
Feb 2008…Pride training. Pride is the training program the state requires. Private organizations do not have to do Pride, but I believe have to do some type of foster training. CH did a mini-Pride for us & one other couple. It took 2 evenings + some reading homework on our own. The Pride that the state does I believe takes 12 weeks, one night a week & you can’t miss any meetings….someone please correct me on that if I”m wrong! Pride stands for (Parent Resource for Information Development Education…I had to look that one up!
- Behavior Intervention Training
- Psychotropic Medication Training
- SIDS/Shaken Baby Syndrome
- The First Year of Life
- A Home Study done by our case manager from CH
May 5, 2008 Officially Licensed!
Again, our process took longer than it usually does with a private agency due to the turn over at CH
Every year we have to do 20 hours of training to keep up our licensing. Several of those classes I listed earlier are mandatory every year:
- SIDS/Shaken Baby
- Psychotropic Meds
- Behavioral Intervention
- CPR/First Aid
There are places in town & groups that do training for free. Parent Services Center has a lot of free classes! They are usually on a weeknight & last about an hour.
My mind is now wandering….& I’m trying to decide how much more to write on this topic. But this wraps up our licensing process with CH pretty well so I will stop for now! More details on CH & other Adoption & Foster Care organizations in East Texas & on some of the standards for a foster home to follow soon….