When a child’s world is turned upside down by abuse and neglect, it takes special care to help restore the balance. During these fragile times, skilled and loving foster parents make a difference. Foster families provide full-time, temporary care for children who are not permitted to live with their primary family. Most often, the goal of foster care is to reunify children with their birth families. Children not able to return to their birth families will continue to live with their foster parents until they are united with kin, are adopted, or are old enough to live independently.
Video of A Foster Parent's Experience - ODJFS Director Matt Damschroder
Qualifications and Requirements
- may be single, married, divorced, or widowed;
- must be at least 21 years of age to foster, 18 to adopt;
- must complete 36 hours of pre-service training;
- must be self-supporting;
- must participate in a home assessment that includes a physical exam and criminal background checks; and,
- must be emotionally mature and able to give unconditional love to a child.
I felt that my role as a foster parent was to advocate for the children that came into my home. I was proud to be a part of the team-centered approach at Muskingum County Adult and Child Protective Services Services.
– Melissa W., foster parent
The first step is completion of the required pre-service training. See our training schedule. If you are married or have a partner, that person will need to complete the training as well. If you are not ready to begin training, you can arrange to have an informational meeting by calling 740-455-6710.
Once you have completed training, the home assessment and become licensed, the process to match you with a foster child begins. Remember that we are looking for families for children . . . not children for families. Foster families for teenagers or sibling groups are in great demand.
No matter what type of child you are approved to foster, there will be times when you won’t have a child in your home. We have little control over which children come into care or when, but it is our goal to have a foster home for every child who needs a safe, loving place to live.
Caring for the children of Muskingum County is a privilege that can change the life of a child forever. Each child's needs are unique and require an "individual goals plan." It is very exciting to watch each child meet their goals and be able to feel proud of what they've accomplished. One of our previous foster children presented a plaque to us that reads "To the world you may be one, but to one you may be the world." I think that really sums up how important being a foster parent is to us.
– Jen M., foster parent
Each month you will receive a reimbursement check to help cover the cost of caring for the child based on the age of the child. Medical and dental expenses are covered.
How To Get Started
As you consider foster care, you will have questions about how the foster parent program will affect your family. Through training and preparation, we will address the concerns you and your family may have. For more information about fostering or adopting a child, please call Muskingum County Adult and Child Protective Services at 740-455-6710 and ask for someone in foster care or adoption. They will send you an inquiry packet when information about foster parenting or adoption. Or, you can download the Muskingum Foster-Adoptive Parent Inquiry Packet 7-2017.pdf.