We all need a light to find our way in the darkness. When children enter foster care for the first time, it can be a frightening experience. They’re often moved in the middle of the night, taken away from their parents, and all that is familiar to them. They spend hours at a department building while a social worker makes cold calls, desperately seeking a family that will take the child or children in, even if just for the night. When a home is finally found, it may be located hours away and they may be split from their siblings if they cannot find a family able to care for all four of them. This is where Homes for Hope comes in. It is a beacon of hope and light for children, a temporary safe haven to stay in the midst of chaos. It gives the county the time they need to find a more long-term option for the children and allows the child to remain in their school, in their community, and with their siblings.
We are seeking experienced individuals and families interested in being a Home for Hope. The first point of contact for children as they enter foster care, it would be your job to provide a safe, loving, and temporary home for up to five children in need. Two of these families will receive reduced rent in a fully furnished home located on the East side of Adams County.
Responsibilities will include:
* Live on-site in a Homes for Hope house and provide direct care to up to five at-risk children or youth ages infant to eighteen. Prioritization will be given to children ages 0-10 and keeping sibling groups together when possible, in emergency foster care situations, with an average stay of 30-90 days. This will also be a home for teen mothers in Adams County custody, to be placed with their infants, while alternative longer-term placement options are identified
* Be an advocate for child’s best interests and next placement move
* Participate in monthly face-to-face meetings with the Adams County Human Services Department’s placement team, relevant staff, and Nightlight
* Provide transportation to parenting time/visitation at the Adams County Human Services Department building or an agreed upon community location with parents and/or siblings
* Must work closely with Adams County and Nightlight to keep each school-aged youth in his or her home school
* Must be willing to meet and work with bio/adoptive parents and/or kin to assist with reunification with family
* Provide emotional support to children to build child’s self-confidence and trust
* Communicate with program manager, therapist, county caseworker, and other members of the team about child’s needs, behaviors, progress, etc. and provide written documentation of these items
* Document child’s medical needs and appointments
* Ensure child is taken to Well Child Medical Check within 72 hours of placement with a county-approved, Medicaid provider
* Available 24/7 for emergency admissions when needed
* Must be open to training regarding the specific medical/developmental needs of children
* Must be available for weekly contact with Nightlight
* Document any critical incidents, accidents or behaviors while child is in the home
* Participate in any meetings regarding child with program manager and child’s team
* Manage daily operating schedule of the home; assist with youth transportation needs, and overall household upkeep
* Plan, participate, and provide opportunities for individual and family activities that are educational and fun
* Must be culturally responsive to the needs of the children/sibling groups placed in the home (includes language, religious/spiritual, cultural and ethnic traditions)
* Abide by all Volume 7 licensing regulations
* Must be at least 21 years of age
* Must have a valid driver’s license with good driving record
* Knowledge of child development at minimum, preference is prior experience working with foster children in therapeutic or school setting, or foster parent capacity
* Ability to pass a background check and reference verification
* Flexibility and willingness to work days, evenings, weekends, and holidays
* High school diploma or equivalent required
* In order to account for children’s potential allergies, there will be no pets allowed on the properties at any time
* No more than two biological or adopted children can be residing in the home
The foster family will receive approximately $33/per child/per day in placement. With a projected 80% capacity, this equates to $48180. This stipend is tax-free, equating to a salary of $55,682.
If you’re interested in becoming a Homes for Hope family, please contact Program Director, Meaghan Nally, at [email protected] or (518)369-2888.