Be a Foster Parent
Step Up for Kids: Be a Foster Parent
Welcome to KAA’s foster parent information page, and thank you for your interest in learning more about fostering!
Since 1894, Kids Above All has partnered with caring, committed foster parents across the Chicago area, who have opened their hearts and homes to help young people in foster care heal from trauma and become independent, productive adults.
Our foster care and licensing teams provide comprehensive and extensive training, as well as resources to ensure our foster parents have the support they need to successfully care for the child in their home.
Kids Above All is proud to support foster and adoptive home licensing of same-sex couples and individuals – regardless of their orientation or identification. Learn more about how we support LGBTQ+ families here.
General Info for Foster Parents
Kids Above All’s foster parents make a tremendous impact on a child, creating a nurturing environment and encouraging the child’s learning and growth.
- Our foster parents learn to understand a child’s development from a trauma-informed perspective. They help to interpret a child’s behavior; recognize stages of grief and their impact on the child’s behavior; and develop healthy, open lines of communication with the child and their support team.
- Parents in our foster care programs take charge of completing the child’s comprehensive health evaluation: physical and dental exams, immunizations and developmental assessments.
- Foster parents are actively engaged in their child’s education, enrolling the child in school, ensuring daily attendance and completion of homework.
Requirements to be a Foster Parent
As a foster parent, you must be…
- A stable, mature adult, at least 25-years-old
- Single or in a committed relationship
- Financially stable and responsible
- In good health, confirmed by a physical examination.
- Able to provide references as part of a background check
- Active participant in the licensing process, including orientation sessions and in-home interviews.
- Participate in pre-service training for new foster parents.
Your home must…
- Be clean, well-ventilated, free from hazard and have appropriate light and heat.
- Have sufficient bedroom space.
- Have an operating telephone.
Successful foster parents…
- Provide a safe, secure and nurturing environment.
- Ensure that their child is supervised appropriately for their age and development.
- Treat the foster child as one of their own children.
- Are patient, understanding and sensitive individuals.
- Are responsible for transporting the child to necessary appointments, such as medical, dental and case management services.
Upcoming Foster Parent Informational/Orientation Sessions
At this time, Kids Above All regularly hosts virtual informational and recruitment sessions for prospective foster parents. (In-person sessions may return in the future at our Chicago-South or Chicago-North locations.) Dates for our 2022 Foster Parent Recruitment and Orientation Sessions coming soon.
You MUST register prior to attending a Foster Parent Recruitment and Orientation Session, and attendance is based on qualification for the program.
To RSVP for an upcoming session, please contact our Janny Musial at firstname.lastname@example.org or (773) 239-8094.
Foster Parent LAW FAQs
What is Foster Parent Law Plan?
It establishes public policy 20 ILCS 520 regarding the rights and responsibilities of foster parents as an essential part of the child welfare team. Kids Above All is responsible for developing an annual plan for implementing the plan. Department of Children and Family Services and Private Agencies are responsible for developing annual plans for the law to insure that foster parents are provided with the information and support to fulfill their responsibility to full participate as a member of the child welfare team.
How can you participate in the development of the Plan?
Each year KAA holds meetings in September to discuss needed revisions to the Plan. Foster parents can provide feedback on needed changes and will endorse the Plan once finalized.
If you are unable to attend a meeting, you can request and complete the Foster Parents Feedback Form and email it to email@example.com or fax it to (773) 867-7364, attention: Pleshette Hamb-Murphy.
Foster parents can participate on the Foster Parent Advisory Council (FPAC) and assist in the development of the annual plan. If you are interested in becoming a member of the FPAC, please see the handbook listed below.
What you should know about the 2015 Plan?
Our 2015 Foster Parent Law Plan is available in English and in Spanish by calling (773) 239-8094. As part of the Foster Parent Law Plan, foster parents must be notified of Kids Above All’s Appeal/Grievance Policy, which is available below.
To obtain a copy of the below policies in in Spanish and/or English, contact KAA’s Program Director at firstname.lastname@example.org. A summary version is also available.