Be A Foster Parent
Be A Foster Parent

Open Your Heart to a Manatee County Child

Manatee County foster parents provide temporary homes for children after the Florida Department of Children and Families has determined that they cannot remain safely at homes. Children enter foster care for a number of reasons, but all need a loving refuge until they can return to their homes or transition to a permanent living arrangement. Foster parents can make a lifetime of difference for a child in a relatively short amount of time.

Foster parenting can be a challenge, like all parenting, but those who feel called to foster find it rewarding. The first life you change will be your own.

Is Foster Parenting Right for You?

If you are deciding whether foster parenting is right for you, the following questions can help.

Will you be able to:

  • Love and care for a child with a challenging background and sometimes difficult behavior?
  • Help the child develop a sense of belonging in your home, even though his or her stay will be temporary?
  • Stand by the child through life’s ups and downs?
  • Be willing to work with the child’s birth family?
  • Feel that it’s your personal mission to help children in crisis?

Foster Parenting Requirements

To become a licensed foster parent, interested persons must:

  • Be a Florida resident age 21 and older;
  • Be financially stable;
  • Be able to care for children;
  • Pass an extensive criminal background check for everyone in the home;
  • Have adequate room and beds in their home for children; and
  • Commit to the training and licensing process, as well as to participating in meetings and appointments for the child.

Foster parents do not have to be wealthy, married, or have a stay-at-home caregiver. Persons from all walks of life answer the call to become a foster parent.

Types of Foster Parenting

Foster parents provide different levels of care to meet children’s needs, and the licensing agency a family chooses is typically based on the type of care they wish to provide. The types of foster care in Manatee County include:

  • Traditional Foster Care: Traditional foster parenting is for those looking to foster children who have the least amount of special needs. However, please note that children in foster care require a greater level of care than those who have been raised in loving and stable homes;
  • Traditional Foster Care – Faith Based: Faith-based foster care licensing agencies serve from a Christian faith perspective;
  • Medical Foster Care: Medical Foster Care provides homes for children with special medical needs. Medical foster parents are trained on special care needs of each child that comes in to their home. However, you do not need a medical background;
  • Enhanced Foster Care: This level of foster parenting serves children with needs that rise above what would be considered minor, but are not to the level of being severe in nature; and
  • Therapeutic Foster Care: Therapeutic foster parents provide homes to youth with severe mental, emotional, or behavioral health needs.

Next Steps

The next steps in becoming a foster parent in Manatee County include attending an information session, providing more information, having a home study and background check completed, training, and more.

To begin your journey toward becoming a licensed foster parent, please contact one of the following Licensing Agencies:

Learn More

Download our Foster Care Agency Guide to learn more about each agency in our community.


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