A foster child in need

April 6, 2014 

Do you like to fish? Jared makes a great fishing buddy and likes being outside. He also enjoys playing with animals.

Jared, 15, has a great attitude and smiles a lot. He is sweet and considerate.

He uses a wheelchair and has difficulty speaking. But Jared does not let these things slow him down. He tries very hard at any task given to him. In an ideal family, the home would be wheelchair accessible, and he would have access to medical and educational resources.

Children in foster care remain with their foster parents until they can be safely returned to their birth families. For some children safe return is not possible. In these cases, they may become free for adoption and their foster parents may apply to adopt. Jared is free for adoption and is hoping for a "forever family."

Becoming a foster parent

More foster homes are needed throughout the metro-east. Illinois has almost 15,000 children placed in out-of-home care.

Foster families are required to complete a licensing process. This includes in-home visits with a social worker, reference and background checks, and medical examinations. Foster parents attend training classes to prepare them for their role. Couples or singles may apply. Applicants need to be at least 21 years of age, responsible individuals, living in a home or apartment that has bedroom space for one or more additional children.

Foster parents specify the age, gender, race, and number of children they will care for. They also decide on a case-by-case basis whether to accept children referred to them for placement.

Foster parents receive a monthly board payment for each child in their care ranging from $401 to $491. Sometimes higher rates are available depending on a child's special needs. Medical, dental, and prescription bills for children are paid for by the state. If foster parents work or go to school, daycare costs for children under 13 are also paid.

If you are interested in finding out more about adopting Jared or foster parenting, call Jan or Holly with the Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition at 1-800-FOSTER3 (1-800-367-8373.)

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