Beginning the Foster Parenting Process
May 23, 2014 by Guest contributor
Little City’s Foster Care & Adoption Program has actively engaged the LGBT community in Chicago in our efforts to identify loving homes for 15,000 youth in Illinois foster care. Last November, we partnered with RaiseAChild.US, “the only national nonprofit organization that encourages the LGBT community to build families through fostering and adoption,” to participate in their “Let Love Define Family” national campaign; we met many wonderful LGBT families who were interested in fostering and adopting. One couple we met was Candice and Teresa of LaGrange, IL.
“At the RaiseAChild.US event we heard from other families that have gone through the foster/adoption process and their story. This event was definitely the reason we decided to take the next steps in the process. We know we have so much love to give to a child looking for a forever home and we wanted to make sure that we had an agency that would support us and know our needs. Little City seems to be the right fit for us,” they say.
People tend think about becoming foster parents for a long time before finally beginning the process. It was the same for Candice and Teresa. “It has taken us years to decide that we'd like to adopt through fostering and now we are just starting our classes to take these steps. This is such a big decision and we are excited to finally be able to begin our journey.”
Candice and Teresa are just beginning the licensing process, which can seem daunting at first. They’ve been to orientation and completed an application. Now they’re starting their state-required training. “The process seems like it will take quite a while for us to complete as we both work full-time right now and are having a hard time rearranging our life but we know it will be worth it in the end. It seems like a very comprehensive process through DCFS and the agency but there are so many people there to help and answer questions that we feel very well educated on the steps we need to take to move forward.”
Once Candice and Teresa complete their state training, they will attend classes at Little City that are more specific to the agency’s policies and procedures. They will also have multiple visits from a Little City licensing social worker, to complete their home study. This process can take a few months to complete, but Candice and Teresa are motivated to keep going. “While we are still in the beginning stages, we are so excited to see our family expanding a year from now!”
Little City Foster Care & Adoption Program is committed to searching for welcoming homes and loving parents regardless of age, race, creed, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender-identification, income or education level. In February 2014, the agency successfully renewed its All Children—All Families Seal of Recognition (first achieved in 2012). Learn more at www.littlecity.org/foster.
This May, HRC is proud to celebrate National Foster Care Month by honoring the leaders at child welfare agencies that are committed to improving outcomes for LGBTQ youth, the LGBTQ foster youth themselves, and the foster families supporting them. Stay tuned to HRC blog throughout the month for more foster care stories.
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