Be Part of the Solution: Become a Foster Parent

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Foster Parent Brochure​


Regular Family Foster Care is continuous 24-hour care and supportive services provided to a youth in a DJS-approved family home. Foster care is used for low risk youth who have difficulties being managed in their own homes or have home environments that need to be stabilized before the youth returns.

Foster parents are required to provide a family-style environment that meets basic standards of safety, sanitation and health. Youth are to be provided with full-time supervision, structure, communication and daily activities that are designed to promote the individual, physical, social, intellectual, spiritual and emotional development of the youth. Foster parents participate as a member of the youth's treatment team in providing treatment planning and problem-solving for the youth.

Foster homes are currently being sought in Western Maryland (Garrett, Allegany, Washington and Frederick County). DJS foster youth are generally between the ages of 12 and 18 years of age. In exchange for providing care for the youth, a monthly stipend and mileage reimbursement are provided. Each youth will have health insurance.

Interested individuals and families will be required to complete an application and submit to various background checks, clearances and home inspections. The application and approval process can be lengthy. Further information can be obtained by contacting Melissa Rice at (301) 791-7072 or melissa.rice1@maryland.gov.


Frequently Asked Questions

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WHAT DOES THE DEPARTMENT OF JUVENILE SERVICES (DJS) DO?

 
DJS is a state agency that is required by law to provide treatment for delinquent youth and youth with behavioral problems such as chronic running away.​

HOW DOES SHELTER AND FOSTER CARE FIT?

 
Shelter care is temporary (usually between 1 to 30 days) form of treatment in a family-type environment. Youth placed in shelter homes are awaiting a court decision or another more permanent placement. Foster care is a longer term (usually 3 to 18 months) form of treatment in a family-type environment. Youth placed in foster homes have been found to be in need of treatment in a family-type environment.​

DOES DJS PROVIDE SHELTER/FOSTERCARE FOR INFANTS OR YOUNG CHILDREN?

 
No. DJS generally places youth between the ages of 10 and 17. Remember DJS youth have come to the attention of the agency because of delinquency or behavioral problems. Youth between the ages of infancy to six are not referred to DJS. Youth between the ages of 7 and 9 are very seldom taken out of their homes by DJS.​

CAN YOUTH PLACED IN DJS FOSTER HOMES BE ADOPTED BY THE FOSTER PARENT(S)?

 
The goal of our foster care program is to provide treatment to youth and reunite then with their families. In some situations, family conditions are so problematic that other plans such as long term foster care or independent living are necessary. However, as a rule it is expected that the youth will return to their families.​

WHAT LEGAL RIGHTS DO FOSTER PARENTS HAVE OVER THE YOUTH?

 
Natural parents retain their parental rights when a youth is placed in a DJS home. Generally, this means DJS is legally responsible for the care, custody and supervision of the youth, but does not have guardianship of the youth. DJS must obtain authorization from the natural parent or the court in order to make decisions regarding medical care or school placement. Since foster parents are a part of the DJS system, they too have the responsibility of care, custody and supervision.​

ARE FOSTER PARENTS INSURED?

 
Yes. The State has insurance against property damage, loss and personal injury.​

ARE FOSTER PARENTS FORCED TO ACCEPT YOUTH?

 
Every youth is not for every foster parent. It is also very important that the youth and foster parent feel comfortable with each other in order to develop a workable and beneficial relationship. Foster parents' state who they think will work best within their home. The Department attempts to "match" youth with the foster parent best for him or her.​

OTHER THAN CARE AND SUPERVISION, WHAT IS EXPECTED OF FOSTER PARENTS?

 
Foster parents are expected to participate in treatment planning for youth. Supportive services from the Department are also provided to foster parents. We believe that participating in treatment planning and use of available resources lessens the possibility of crisis, and increases the chances of success.​

ARE FOSTER PARENTS PAID FOR THEIR SERVICES?

 
Yes. Foster parents receive a monthly stipend. The rate varies depending on the length of time a child is in care. As of August 14, 2008, the rate is $930 a month per youth or $31 per day.​

IS TRAINING OFFERED TO FOSTER PARENTS?

 
Yes. Training is available on a regular basis for parents.​

WHO DO I CONTACT IF I AM INTERESTED IN BECOMING A FOSTER PARENT?

 
Further information can be obtained by contacting Melissa Rice at (301) 791-7072 or melissa.rice1@maryland.gov.​