It’s hard to imagine, but many children are convinced they’re not lovable. Some have lived in so many different foster homes, they’ve given up on the dream of ever having a trusted adult in their lives who will care about them. We aim to change that.
If you love having children in your life, you may be the person we’re looking for to be a foster parent for a child. JFSGNH will be a supportive partner, helping you and your youth transition into a new life together. We will be with you and your youth for the duration of your involvement together.
Children available through our Foster Care Program are between the ages of 0 and 18+ in our Medically Complex Program and 6 to 18+ in our Therapeutic Foster Care Program. They come from all races, ethnicities and religions, and all are currently under the care of the CT Department of Children and Families (DCF). Some are siblings who need a home together; all have emotional scars from past neglect, abuse and/or due to the many adults in their lives who have let them down. Some cope with medical issues, though most children are physically healthy. All of the youth need extra care and attention from positive people in their lives.
We especially seek families who can understand how a youth’s history affects her/his life and who will not take a youth’s behavioral challenges personally. You will have 100% control over the type of youth you take into your home, but once you commit to a youth, we expect that you will stay committed, even if the youth’s behaviors do not improve once the youth is in your home, because loss of relationships often makes issues associated with respect and abuse worse.
We need families who respect and can understand the role a youth’s birth family plays in her/his life. At the very least, that birth family “lives inside” your youth. At most, you will be in the position to help ease loyalty issues for your youth, model a more positive parenting style for her/his family and/or assist the child in transitioning back to those s/he loves. You will be in a position to help a youth learn life skills as s/he launches into adulthood. The youth we place in your home needs a long-term commitment from you.
Who Can be a Foster Parent?
In general, the qualifications are flexible. The most important are your ability to accept the child, meet the child’s special needs, provide a safe and secure environment, and have a stable source of income.
- You do not need to earn a high income or own your home
- You can be married or single
- Families of all religions, races, cultural backgrounds and sexual orientation are eligible
Requirements, per the State of Connecticut
- That you are 21 years of age and older
- That you reside in a dwelling (rented or owned) that has at least two bedrooms, so that a youth has her/his own room
- That you and everyone in your household undergo a criminal, child abuse and Department of Motor Vehicle check
- That you attend a 10-week training class
- That you prepare for fostering youth by working with JFSGNH to complete a home study
We Assist You By…
- Helping find a child/youth who’s issues match the strengths in your parenting style
- Working with you and your child so that you can adjust to each other as you live as a family
- $55.55 per day in order for you to cover the needs of your child
- Conducting monthly training and support groups for foster parents
- Maintaining a 24-on-call emergency phone number where you can reach a skilled social worker to assist you with an issue that cannot wait until the office is open
- Advocating on your behalf and attending all community meetings that involve your youth
- Arranging paid respite services for foster parents when you and your youth need a break from each other
- Providing financial assistance for enrichment programs for your youth (dance lessons, music lessons, etc.).
JFSGNH conducts ongoing free, no-obligation informational meetings regarding foster care. Everyone is invited to attend our free information meetings.
For more information, contact Elaine Benevides, LCSW, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (203) 389-5599, extension 115. We’re here to help you help a youth in need!
JFS’s Foster Care Program in the Media:
Click here to read an article on the JFS Foster Care Program that appeared in the May/June 2018 edition of Shalom New Haven.
Play the video below to watch and listen to JFS’s Foster Care & Adoption Programs on WNHH FM 103.5 that aired on 3/18/19.