THE NEED FOR FOSTER CARE AND ADOPTION IN LOUISIANA
Need Foster Homes for Adolescents
Currently, there is a lack of families and individuals willing to foster teens. Because of the shortage of foster homes, teenagers are being relocated to different parishes across Louisiana or placed in group facilities. High school is a challenging in itself, socially and academically, and it’s even more difficult for teens who were separated from the biological family, then possibly moved to another city.
Foster Homes for Medical Needs Children
There is a huge need for foster families willing to open their home to autistic children and those with medical disabilities.
Financial assistance may be available for families adopting children with special needs because of age, race, handicap, intellectual, emotional or medical problems, or for members of a sibling group who are adopted together.
What Do Foster/Adoptive Parents Do?
Foster/Adoptive Parents do everything that birth parents do, and sometimes more. They open their hearts and homes to children who have been abused or neglected, nurture these children and provide support and stability in their lives. Foster/ Adoptive Parents are responsible for advocating for the child, meeting with teachers, attending school conferences, sched¬uling and transporting the child to all doctor, therapy and other appointments, and to visits with the child’s parents and siblings. Because of their unique role and direct care of the child, it is also critical that they attend and participate in case planning meetings and court hearings. Foster/Adoptive Parents must also work with the agency by being available to meet with the child’s worker at least once a month to discuss all issues regarding the child.
Once a child has been adopted, the Adoptive Parent is considered the child’s legal parent and possesses all the same rights and responsibilities as any parent. It is a relationship that lasts a lifetime. Once the child is adopted, the agency is no longer involved and the Adoptive Parents make all decisions for the child.
What are the requirements to Become a Foster/ Adoptive Parent?
Applicants must be at least 21 years of age, have sufficient income to meet their own basic needs, and be in good physical, emotional and mental health. A Foster/Adoptive Parent can be single, married, divorced, or widowed. Foster/Adoptive parents must be committed to provide the child with positive forms of discipline and cannot use physical punishment of any kind.