Become a Foster Parent
There are more than 5,000 West Virginia children and teens in foster care, and you can change a child’s life by becoming a foster parent! Fostering provides a child who has experienced abuse or neglect with a safe, loving environment. On top of this, it gives you the opportunity to show a child the love and care they deserve while growing emotionally, mentally and spiritually as you teach life skills and give support.
The requirements for becoming a foster parent vary from state to state; however, to meet general requirements in West Virginia you must:
- Be able to provide a nurturing and supportive home to a child in need
- Be at least 21 years of age
- Be either single or married
- Be able to meet basic income guidelines
- Meet WV Child Placing Regulations regarding a safe and healthy home environment
- Be able to provide adequate bedroom space and a separate bed for each foster child
- Have reliable transportation
- Be willing to complete 30 hours of free training in PRIDE (Parent Resource Information Development and Education), as well as CPR/First Aid, Crisis De-escalation (MANDT) and other similar courses
- Agree to use non-physical discipline for children
- Be willing for everyone in your household to undergo complete background checks.
KVC provides foster parent training in conjunction with West Virginia Child Placing Regulations and Joint Commission requirements. We provide the following trainings as part of becoming a foster parent:
- PRIDE, or Parent Resource Information Development and Education. A 30 hour course created by the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) to learn about being a foster parent
- MANDT or crisis de-escalation. This course teaches potential foster parents about safe and effective ways to diffuse potential crisis situations.
- CPR/First Aid. KVC provides American Red Cross classes for adult, child and infant CPR and First Aid.
- Universal Precautions
- Healthy Sexual Development in Children
- Pregnancy Prevention and STD information
KVC also provides monthly CEU classes once families are certified. Each foster parent must have 12 hours of CEUs each year to remain foster parents. New foster parents must have 15 hours of CEUs within the first year of certification. Six of these CEUs must be face to face. KVC provides useful and informative CEU opportunities that are relevant to caring for foster children.
All KVC foster and adoptive parents receive support through Permanency Case Managers, who visit the children in the home at least twice monthly. Home Finders are also good support persons for the foster families. The Home Finders visit the homes at least quarterly. KVC also offers 24 hour crisis support through their on call system.
KVC is also in the process of starting a Foster Parent Advisory Board to provide internal support for other foster parents. This group will also work as client and foster parent advocates in the community as well as to organize community KVC events.
What Can you Expect from KVC West Virginia?
Before and after a child is placed in your home, KVC gives your family the tools and training needed to ease the transition, ensure a positive stay, and help the child adjust to life changes. Pre-Service and continuous training is provided to make sure you have the skills necessary to meet the child’s needs.
Throughout your foster parent experience, we provide in home therapeutic and case management support services. Our Foster Care Clinician Specialists work hand in hand with you and other important people in the child’s life to create an individualized plan with the goal of increasing the child’s well being and helping them during difficult transitions.
Support for Foster Families includes:
- 24 hour access to In Home Therapeutic and Case Management Services
- Unparalleled pre-service and continuing education
- Support groups
- Respite Services
- Parents night out!
- Organized Foster Parent and Children Activities and Events
- Annual Foster Care Conference
- Financial Compensation for Children in your care
KVC serves its families equally, without regard to race, color, religion or national origin.