Foster Care – It’s All About the Paperwork

I swear, I think the our agency and the State of Texas is hazing us with this paperwork. I felt like I’m back on line.  I was up late, copying stuff, running around to different buildings and people asking them to sign my papers, forking over money for miscellaneous stuff.  Just when I thought I had everything done, Big Sister threw it on the floor, stomped on it, and then told me to start over.   I’m exaggerating a bit but not by much.  You need to have your energy up to get through this “process.”  If you are thinking about joining me and the Hubster in foster care, you might as well start gathering this information now.

So here is the rundown of what you need to have:

  • Application – with all your personal hopes and dreams of why you are fostering, what type of child would you want, how you plan to discipline, etcetera, etcetera.
  • Photo ID (Driver License/Passport)
  • Social Security Card
  • Birth Certificate – unless you have a passport
  • Marriage Licenses
  • Divorce Agreements, if any
  • Copies of School Diploma – High School or better; If you don’t have a degree, you have to take some sort of test
  • Proof of Income – pay stub or tax statements
  • Auto Registration for all vehicles
  • Picture of Inspection stickers for all vehicles
  • Auto Insurance
  • Floor plan with dimensions
  • Pictures of every room in your house
  • Copy of Service Calls to your home – you have to get this from the police department
  • Fire Inspection – your expense as well as the things you may need to pass such as fire extinguishers for each floor, escape ladders, etc
  • Disaster Plan/Escape Plan
  • Doctor’s Note with Statement of Heath
  • Proof of recent negative TB test
  • FBI Background test (with fingerprints)
  • Central Registry Request from every state where you have lived in the last 10 years (this was hard for me to come up with all my addresses for the last 10 years)
  •  Reference Letters – two from family members, three from non-family members;  They will also request one from your employer and I had no idea until my boss asked me about it.  So you will have your spot blown up a little bit.

You may have looked at this list and thought, oh, that’s not that bad.  That’s what I thought too until I started printing everything and trying to keep all these pieces of paper together.  This list also does not include the homework from PRIDE and the certificates from the multiple trainings you will need to take.  By the time I got all this together, I had a BOOK of stuff.  You hear me.  This is the novel of our lives.   And all that stuff is backed up in triplicate because I have heard many horror stories about lost items.

We finally got it all in.  Our agency worker that is handling this part has been great.  She’s been extremely responsive to our questions and follow-up when she says she will.  She returns phone calls and I’m all around pleased at this point.  The process continues.  Yes, Big Sister.  Can we have another.

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