From the time you begin thinking about fostering a child, through placement, to managing the daily joys and challenges of being a child’s hero – we’re here for you.
Find out if fostering is right for you!
If you’re interested in making a difference in someone’s life, then you’re already well on your way to becoming a foster parent.
Requirements for becoming a foster parent
Our foster parents meet the following requirements:
- United States citizenship
- At least 25 years of age to foster in Tennessee, married or unmarried
- Pass a medical evaluation and background check
- Be a high school graduate
- Have room for a child in your home and personal life
- Have reliable auto insurance coverage
- Be able to submit three letters of recommendation
- Have patience and a desire to help children who need extra care and support
We have foster families who are single, married, empty-nesters, LGBTQ, families with children and families without children.
Hear from a real foster parent
Christine loves children, so when someone at her church asked if she would like to be a foster parent, she said yes. She received training and support through Centerstone.
What to Expect
Agency Selection and ApplicationChoosing the appropriate agency during your foster care exploration is a pivotal milestone on your path to becoming a foster parent. It’s essential to contemplate your individual objectives and goals for foster care. Do you have a preference for fostering infants, older kids, or adolescents? Keep in mind that foster care demands a substantial commitment, and the selection of the right agency plays a vital role in ensuring a positive experience for both you and the children under your care. At Centerstone, we are looking for families to foster teens and sibling groups of 3 or more, families willing to provide emergency/respite care on a short term basis, and families who may be interested in foster-to-adopt.
Home StudyA home study is a comprehensive assessment process conducted by a trained professional to evaluate the suitability of individuals or couples who wish to become adoptive or foster parents. This includes in-home visits, interviews with family members, background checks, health and financial screenings. The purpose of a home study is to ensure the safety and well-being of the children who may be placed in the care of the prospective parents.
Background CheckCriminal background checks and child abuse clearances are essential procedures conducted to confirm that prospective adoptive or foster parents have no prior record of criminal activity or child abuse that would render them ineligible for these roles.
Attend Foster Parent Training ClassesFoster parents receive initial and ongoing training to help them care for a child who has experienced trauma of abuse and/or neglect. Foster parents are trained in TN Key (Knowledge Empowers You), trauma and training on how to address the child’s unique needs. A Mutual Selection process throughout the training and home study process allows the potential foster parents to decide if fostering is right for them and allows the agency to determine that a family is a good fit for the types of children we serve. The training and home study process is provided at no charge to potential foster parents, including those who are interested in foster-to-adopt.
Financial Stability and Well-BeingThe Home Study worker will assess the prospective parents’ financial stability to determine their ability to meet the needs of the child. Financial stability is an important consideration when it comes to fostering children. Foster parents are responsible for providing for the basic needs of the children placed in their care, and this includes financial support for housing, food, clothing, education, healthcare, and extracurricular activities. Foster parents do receive a stipend for the care of the child, but must demonstrate that the stipend is not needed to meet basic household bills.
Placement of Foster ChildOnce a foster family is fully approved, the child is placed in their care. The placement decision is made with the child’s best interests in mind, aiming for an environment that meets their specific needs and offers a sense of stability and security. The goal is to ensure the child’s safety and well-being and, when possible, to support reunification with their biological family or find a permanent, loving home through adoption or other means.
Ready to get started?
Thank you for your interest in fostering! It’s a big step and we know you have lots of questions. If you’d like to talk with a member of our foster care team to learn more, please fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch.
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