What is foster care?

Foster care is a service provided to children who have been removed from their home because of risk of neglect or abuse. Foster families provide 24-hour care to children and help birth parents and children work towards family reunification. Samaritas staff provide support, and the local family court reviews progress regularly.

How can I help?

By becoming a foster parent, you can provide a safe, stable environment for a child, reduce the risk of further harm and promote family reunification. You can give children the love and attention they deserve when they are away from their birth parents.

What kind of children are in foster care?

Children in foster care range from newborns to age 18. They come from many racial, religious and socio-economic backgrounds. Some have never had a stable home. Some but not all children may have emotional, behavioral and medical problems, including aggressiveness, bedwetting, defiance, lack of motivation, anger and depression.

What do foster parents do?

Foster parents are 24-hour caregivers. They provide food, shelter, clothing and emotional support for the child. They are required to give the child the opportunity for recreation and social interaction. They must transport the child to appointments, doctor visits and school. Foster parents must also attend ongoing training classes and participate in monthly visits with caseworkers.

Can I have a job outside the home?

Many foster parents have "outside" jobs as well. In such cases, foster children are treated just like the family’s own children. When the parents are at work, the children may be in school, at a day care center, or with another family member or babysitter.

What kind of financial support would I get?

Foster parents receive reimbursement every month to provide food, clothing and other things their foster children need. The amount depends on the needs of the child. Foster parents also receive a clothing allowance for foster children twice a year.