8 Things Every Foster Parent in Colorado Should Know
Fostering is providing a temporary home for children and teens while their parents learn the skills needed to care for their kids well. Foster care is incredibly important and supports both parents and kids.
If you are considering becoming a foster parent in Colorado (or you already are one!) make sure you know these eight things that every foster parent in Colorado should know!
1) The Requirements (How Do I Become a Foster Parent in Colorado)
In order to become a foster parent in the state of Colorado you must be at least 21, you need to submit an application, go through a background check, receive all the channels of proper training and education, and do a home study with a social worker. Becoming a foster parent in Colorado is not limited by race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, or marital status.
2) Know the Foster and Adoption Centers Near You
Make sure you are aware of government and private foster care agencies around you. This list of all the government agencies by county, and all the private organizations will help you stay connected. Different child placement agencies care for children in different ways. If you are considering fostering, this list can help you pick the foster organization that is right for you.
3) How Many Children Are in Foster Care in Colorado
Did you know that there are over 5,000 children and teens in foster care in the state of Colorado? Because there is a shortage of foster parents, this number has grown and there are not enough kinship families (foster families) in the system to support all the kids that need support and love. These kids enter foster care and need stable homes.
4) CarePortal for Foster Parent Support
If you are looking for a great resource to receive support as a foster parent (or support other foster parents), CarePortal is a great resource for you! CarePortal is a tool that connects you to the immediate needs in your community and allows you to donate directly to the individuals who need it. Local social workers input the needs of the foster homes around you and you can see those needs in your CarePortal app. Then you either donate cash or donate the item to the family directly. Ask your social worker if CarePortal is an option near you! Or sign up to give!
5) Free Government Resources for Foster Families
WIC (or Women, Infants, and Children) is a food welfare program that allots money for food to eligible people. Because foster children are technically the responsibility of the state, they qualify for WIC, which means you get help feeding your foster kids. You will receive an eWIC card with your child’s benefits that is accepted at most grocery stores.
The Childcare Assistance Program is a childcare service provided by the government. It provides families with discounted child care rates depending on their income. Because childcare waiting lists can be very long, reach out to your social worker to see if they have any additional resources. The department of human services and social services will have other resources available to you.
Because of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, foster parents receive a tax credit for their foster children. Through the credit you will receive money for every child under your care in a given fiscal year. Learn more about the Advanced Child Tax Credit and how to apply.
6) Your Closest Medicaid Provider
Because foster children are wards of the state, they qualify for Colorado Health First, which is the Medicaid program in Colorado. If your foster kids get sick or injured or need dental care, it’s important to know where your nearest provider is! This map will help you find the Medicaid provider closest to you.
7) When Foster Care Awareness Month Is (and Its Color!)
We know that foster care can be hard work. But it’s also very important and rewarding! As foster parents, your ultimate goal is reunification of the child with their parents, but right now there is a shortage of foster families. You can generate awareness for fostering by celebrating Foster Care Awareness Month in May. And the foster care color is blue!
8) You Are Not Alone!
Being a foster parent is not an easy job. But when you take on the important work of caring for children and families and working to reunite kids with their parents, you are not alone! Child welfare is a community effort! Organizations like Beautiful Redemption, Raise the Future, Foster Source, Fostering Great Ideas, and Just As Special offer resources, support, and care for foster parents like you!
Written in partnership with Reach The Lost.