Frequently Asked Questions About Foster Care

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If you’ve ever considered becoming a foster parent, chances are you have a lot of questions! Many of our foster parents consider going through the training for a while before they take the leap. To help you navigate the process, we’ve compiled some of our frequently asked questions about becoming a foster parent below.

Is there a need for foster parents in this community?

Yes, there is a disparity in our county with the number of children in care and the families able to work with these children. The issue that we are finding is that we have families in our communities, but not enough who are able and/or willing to meet the needs of the children in the system.

Do I have to live in Tennessee to foster through Chambliss Center for Children?

Yes, you must be a resident of Tennessee for at least 6 months to foster through our agency.

What are the basic requirements for becoming a foster parent?

Basic requirements to become a foster parent include:

  • Be a resident of the state for at least 6 months

  • Live in any of the TN Valley region counties

  • Be at least 25 years of age

  • Be financially stable

  • Be in sufficient health

  • Able to pass background checks

  • Must have a bedroom available in your home for a child or children

Do I need to own a home to be a foster parent?

No, you can own or rent your home.

What does the general process look like to become a foster parent?

In order to become a foster parent, you must complete the Foster Parent Pre-Service Training and complete the home study process.

How long does the training to become a foster parent take? How much does it cost?

The training is free, and classes are one night a week for two months.

Why do kids come into custody in the first place?

Children are often brought into state custody as a result of a report made to Child Protective Services. When CPS receives a report of abuse or neglect, they go to the home to investigate the claim. If it is substantiated, they remove the children from their birth families or current caregivers, and they become a ward of the state.

What is the purpose of foster care?

The purpose of foster care is to provide temporary care for children in custody until they are able to be reunified with their birth parents.

What is the difference between fostering and adopting?

The Child Welfare System seeks to provide permanency for the children in their care. Fostering and adoption both make this possible. The ultimate goal of foster care is to return the child back to their birth families, while adoption is a lifelong commitment to a child or children by making them legally a part of your family.

Are foster parents eligible to adopt?

Foster parents can adopt a child in their care if the birth parents rights have been terminated through the courts.

How expensive is fostering and the adoptive process?

Both foster care and adoption are free to individuals who go through the state and some private agencies. Typically, families that are looking only to adopt have to pay private agencies to write their home study and assist them with the adoption process.

If I’m interested in becoming a foster parent, what are the next steps?

If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, get in touch with our recruiter, Marvelle Davis. You can reach her by phone at (423)-280-3760 or by email at