Kentucky Foster Care and Adoption

Providing safe and loving homes to children across the Commonwealth

Healing Homes Foster Care in Kentucky

“Every kid is one caring adult away from being a success story.” Josh Shipp

In Kentucky, there are nearly 10,000 children in out of home care.  For children with certain histories and needs it can be even more difficult to find a loving home.  At Nightlight we believe every child has a right to live in a safe and loving home and our focus is on waiting children who struggle to find nurturing homes in the Commonwealth.  Our attention is on finding families for children, ages 6 and up, sibling groups, children who need special medical care due to medical diagnosis and those who have therapeutic needs.   

The Kentucky office was approved to offer foster care for therapeutic and medically complex children on March 12, 2020.  Our initial contract with the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services was awarded later that year.  

In Kentucky, there are nearly 10,000 children in out-of-home care. Many of these children are in need of safe and stable foster homes. These placements could be short- or long-term, depending on the needs of the biological family. Respite foster homes are also needed as a support to full-time foster parents.

FOSTER CARE

If a child’s biological family is unable to care for him or her, the child may become eligible for adoption. In the United States, 51% of foster children who found forever families were adopted by their foster parents.

ADOPTING YOUR FOSTER CHILD

At any given time, there are over 650 children in Kentucky who are free for adoption and waiting for a family.  Could you be a forever family for one of these?  Consider the children found on the Kentucky Kids Belong website.

KENTUCKY’S ADOPTABLE CHILDREN

Nightlight Foster Care Agency is your advocate in the Kentucky state foster care program.

The Nightlight team will walk with you throughout the foster care process and support you with the tools and knowledge you need to succeed.

It is important to understand that every child is unique in their histories, experiences, challenges and strengths.  No matter what needs they may have, we believe every child deserves a loving family and the chance to flourish.

Fostering can be challenging at times, so it is important that foster parents have a strong support system (friends, family, church, etc.). Due to our small caseloads, Nightlight has the ability to give you the attention and support you need to navigate your foster care journey.

Children who form strong, healthy attachments (relationships) are more resilient to stressful situations as adults.  As a foster parent, you are making impactful, positive changes which could improve a child’s life now and into adulthood.

How do I become a foster parent in Kentucky?

To become a therapeutic or medically-complex foster parent through a private agency such as Nightlight Christian Adoptions, Kentucky requires you to be trained and your home to be certified.  The specified training is a large time commitment, however, it ensures that you will be knowledgeable and equipped to handle the responsibilities of fostering Kentucky’s therapeutic and medically complex children.  

The following is an overview of this process: 

  • Meet the staff. Make an appointment to meet face-to-face with Nightlight staff to discuss if fostering is right for you and your family.  Our contact information is listed below.  
  • Submit an application. Nightlight will review your application to ensure that you qualify to be a foster parent and meet Nightlight and Kentucky’s eligibility requirements.  The laws in Kentucky state that you must be at least 21 years old to receive a placement.  You can be of any religion, ethnicity or race.  See the Nightlight Foster Care Program Overview for other requirements.  
  • Attend Foster Parent Training. Nightlight is proud to partner with Orphan Care Alliance for basic foster care training for our parents.  This training is supplemented with webinars offered by the Kentucky Department of Community Based Services and additional training provided by Nightlight staff.   
  • Complete a Home Study. The home study is an in-depth assessment of the home and family. While it is not necessary to own your home, you must show proof that you are able to support a child financially. The home study process includes interviews with the potential foster parents and other household members.  Criminal background checks as well as child abuse and neglect checks are also completed.  The home study process allows Nightlight to not only educate and prepare you for fostering but also helps us match you with a child who will be a good fit for your home.
  • Prepare for Your Child’s Arrival. Nightlight will contact you with notices of waiting children. We will discuss with you the unique needs of the child and make sure you feel comfortable, supported, and able to provide the resources needed to care for him or her. Your Nightlight team will be with you every step of the way!

If you live in the Southern Bluegrass Region of Kentucky (Anderson, Bourbon, Boyle, Clark, Fayette, Franklin, Garrard, Harrison, Jessamine, Madison, Mercer, Montgomery, Nicholas, Scott or Woodford Counties) and are interested in fostering an older child, ages 6 and up, with therapeutic of medical needs, or a sibling group, Nightlight would love to meet with you!   

Please call 859-263-9964 or e-mail foster.ky@nightlight.org with your contact information and we will be in contact with you as quickly as possible.   

Families interested in basic foster care or children under the age of 5 should contact the Kentucky Cabinet Adoption’s Branch at 1-800-232-5437. 

“Fostering to adopt has been the hardest thing we’ve ever done, but it is also the most wonderful thing we’ve ever done.  It is God making beauty from ashes and inviting us to be a part of the process. This experience has blessed our family more than we could have ever imagined!”

Paul & Leesa

Foster Parent Training

Becoming a foster parent begins with completing an info meeting and basic foster parent training through Nightlight’s partnership with Orphan Care Alliance. Please check their training schedule for upcoming opportunities to begin.

Resources

Nightlight Adoption Bridge – View photos of children waiting for you

America’s Kids Belong

KY FACES (Kentucky Foster Adoptive Caregiver Exchange System) – View Kentucky’s waiting adoptable children

UK College of Social Work – Office of Foster and Adoptive Support and Training

Nightlight is proud to partner with the following organizations:

Orphan Care Alliance

Jockey Being Family

Adoption is a blessing, start your journey today.

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