By Kendra Lowden, Foster Care/Adoption Manager

Many questions surface when families think about fostering or adopting Potawatomi children. We answered some of the questions we are frequently asked by prospective families. Although each and every situation is unique in child welfare, there is some basic information you can use to guide you through the process of deciding to open your home to children in need. For more information, contact FireLodge Children & Family Services at 405-878-4831.

What is foster care?

Foster care is the temporary placement of children and youth with families outside of their own home due to child abuse or neglect. The goal is to provide a safe, stable and nurturing environment.

What is the difference between private adoption and adoption through foster care?

Private adoption is when birth parents voluntarily place their child for adoption with a family of their choice. Children available for adoption through foster care are typically placed into care involuntarily with the goal of reunification with the family. Typically, the relative or non-related foster family will adopt the children when they become legally free.

What assistance is available to adoptive families?

Adoption assistance exists to remove the financial and other barriers that may prevent a family from adopting from foster care. Services available for adopted children may include daycare assistance, medical assistance, monthly maintenance payments and adoption attorney fees.

Why should I become a foster parent for FireLodge Children & Family Services?

Our department offers individualized support and training for foster families. Our team is comprised of experienced child welfare advocates focused on providing excellent customer service and emotional support to the families we serve.

Can I adopt a Potawatomi foster child?

The goal of our department is to reunite families. Foster parents may be able to adopt their foster children if they cannot be returned home or placed with a relative. Many families successfully adopt their foster children.

Will I have to work with the child’s parent?

Yes, you should expect to work with the child’s birth parent in most cases. Children in foster care have a more positive experience if their birth parents and foster parents work together to ensure the children feel loved and comfortable in their out-of-home placement.

Is there a need for foster parents for sibling sets?

Yes, most children placed into foster care are part of a sibling set. It is vital they are placed together to ensure the sibling relationships are intact and healthy.