Be a Foster Parent
Congratulations on your interest in Foster Parenting!
What is Foster care? Foster care isused to provide temporary care to children or young people experiencing a difficult period in their lives.Foster Parents, also known as Resource Parents, care for children who may return home once the problems that caused them to come into foster care have been resolved. However, others may stay longer in foster care, some may be adopted, and others will move on to live independently.
There are over 60,000 children in foster care in California, with approximately 5,000 in San Bernardino; 4,200 in Riverside; 3,000 in San Diego; 2,000 in Orange County; and 30,000 in neighboring Los Angeles county. The need is great! You are needed today more than ever.
Foster Care Re-Invented
Look around you. The field of foster care has not changed in decades. Despite changes in regulations designed to keep children safe, foster family agencies essentially all operate the same and the way they have done over the last 40 years, especially in how they work with parents.
At Knotts Family Agency, we have set out to breakdown how foster care is done and then rebuilt it from the ground up. Essential to this process is how we work with applicants and foster or resource parents once approved. The following are just a few examples of how we do things differently:
- Why do all other agencies require you to attend an orientation that is usually provided in their office and with another group of individuals? Because this is better for the agency. But is it better for you, the one interested in providing care to children in need?How does “group orientation” align with the notion of person-centered support? It does not! That’s why at Knotts Family Agency, we offer personalized one-on-one orientations, which can be held at the office or in the comfort of your own home. If you wish, we also use advanced video conferencing.
- Why do some agencies make it mandatory for you to attend monthly meetings or trainings at their office? At Knotts Family Agency, we recognize that there are different learning styles, so we use a variety of strategies and learner-centered techniques to ensure that parents are equipped to be successful. Our training may be delivered at the office, in your home, or via internet. Additionally, our specialized Family Support Coaches provide mini-training each week to cover topics that you have an interest in. The training is not what we want to teach, but instead, it is designed based on what you want to learn. We ensure that you are learning or developing skills that can be applied immediately. Our focus is not so much on the how, but on the what, and ensuring that resource parents do learn and develop.
- Why do agencies still use a paper-based system or someone’s intuition when making a match between parents and children. At Knotts Family Agency our highly trained specialists use a comprehensive assessment in matching the foster parent’s preferences, skills, and aptitude, with the children in need. This has important implications for the success of the match and ultimately your happiness and sense of fulfillment as a resource parent.
Must be at least 21 years of age
Background: Must have no criminal history that will prevent you from being a foster parent.
Driver’s license: Possess a valid driver’s license and proof of insurance.
No minimum income requirements but parents must be able to financially manage their own expenses.
Bedroom: At least one extra bedroom in your home (which may be rented or owned).
Recruitment versus engagement. If you have been doing research, you have probably noticed that a majority (if not all) agencies have links to “recruitment” on their website. Although this may be a valid term, at Knotts Family Agency, we prefer not use the term “parent recruitment” because recruitment is often characterized by an offer or promises being made, sometimes with enticements. Instead, we prefer the term Parent Engagement, which denotes that parents retain full ownership of the process. That is, from the beginning, prospective foster parents are seen as equal partners and are not “recruited” into a program, but are instead engaged, as we guide them through exploring whether they actually wish to serve as Foster or Adoptive parents. We work for you!
Ask an agency who are the primary clients? Again, most if not all will undoubtedly respond that the children are the primary clients, or that the children are the most important. Although quality care of children is still our priority and reason for existence, we recognize that foster or resource parents are the most important link in the process of providing the highest and best care to children. Without foster parents, we would not be able to care for children. So, from the beginning of the approval process you will see that we are different: You, the Resource Parent, are the most important partner! Our focus on providing exceptional support and guidance to parents has resulted in over 100% growth over the last year.
We realize that other agencies are now implementing some of the innovative features that we pioneered, but we remain committed to always raising the bar higher when it comes to making sure we have “Happy Parents Nurturing Children and Youth”. In a recent satisfaction survey, we achieved an unprecedented 100% of resource parents reporting being satisfied or very satisfied with our services.
Knotts Family Agency prides itself at striving to be the best and premier agency in the region providing foster care and adoption services. Although we receive hundreds of applications each year, we are intentional in the selection process because we want to ensure that all our parents receive the highest quality support. Not only do we provide the training necessary for you to be successful, but our ongoing regular support is unmatched.
We know everyone has different reasons for wanting to become a Foster Parent, and that’s why we treat you with professionalism and with the highest respect. We honor your individualism and that’s the reason we don’t have a cookie-cutter approach. Instead, we tailor our services to meet your needs, in the manner you prefer.
As you search for an agency that can help you fulfill your desire to care for a child in need, find one that has an unabashed focus on you, the resource parent. At Knotts Family Agency we pride ourselves in having a healthy obsession for parent’s delight.
Feel free to contact us, with any additional question. Please fill out our contact or interest form.You can reach out to us any time. There is never any pressure and you can contact us without any obligations. We know this is an important decision, so please allow us the opportunity to assist you as we work diligently to address your specific plans and needs. With Knotts Family Agency, you will never be alone as you open your heart and home to a child.
Are you ready to be a Foster Parent? If you still have any questions about whether you are ready to be a Foster Parent, we invite you to take our proprietary Foster Parenting Readiness Assessment. The brief questionnaire will alert you of key areas that you may need to consider in your planning. We recommend this as the first step in your exploration. Take the Foster Parent Readiness Assessment here.