How Do YOU Become a Centre County Foster Parent?

First Contact

During this initial contact, we will give you information about our foster care program and help you to determine whether the Centre County foster care program is a good fit for you and your family.

At this point, you will be asked if you would like a foster parent application to proceed. If so, we will walk you step-by-step through the rest of the licensing process. If you are not ready to commit, then we will invite you to attend our foster parent training classes to learn more about foster care before beginning the home study licensing requirements.

Complete an Application

We do not charge an application fee, nor do we charge for your home study or training. All clearances and foster parent training classes are paid for by the agency.

Complete the Training Process

Centre County Foster Parent Program offers thorough and quality training. Additionally, your Foster Home Recruiter will keep you on track with reminders about paperwork you will need to complete and turn in. The sooner your paperwork is completed, the sooner you can begin the last step in becoming a licensed foster home.

Complete a Home Study

A home study consists of a confidential series of in-depth interviews and assessments of your house conducted by your Foster Home Recruiter. This helps us match you with children who are a good fit for your family.

Finish the Licensing Process

Your Licensing Specialist will make sure that everything in your file is complete and correct. You will officially become a licensed Centre County foster parent during the final home visit!

Answer the Phone and Welcome a Child!

It will be Centre County Children and Youth Services calling about a potential child placement for you!

Centre County Children and Youth staff will be at your disposal while you make this transition. They will help you get settled and make sure you have everything you need as you get acquainted with the children in your home.

Could YOU Foster?

Frequently Asked Questions

Children over 5 cannot share a bedroom with children of the opposite gender. Children/young people over 18 cannot share a bedroom with a foster child. Every person in the home needs a separate sleeping space that is private, not a common space.

Renting your home does not stop you from fostering, though you will need to provide insurance from your landlord.

While you will benefit from the support of family and friends as a foster parent, some children/young people will enjoy the focused attention a single foster parent can provide.

It is very important that your partner is in agreement, is involved in the process, and also keeps up to date with the licensing requirements. It is also important that everyone who lives in your home is aware of fostering, how it works, and what is expected of them as fostering will affect the whole family in some way.

CYS office is open Monday through Friday 8:30 am–5:00 pm, where you can contact your caseworker. You will be assigned to a mentor family through our program. A caseworker is also available during non-office hours by calling 1-800-479-0050. Each child placed in your home has an assigned caseworker that will visit the home at least one time a month and be in regular contact.  Other support services are also available dependent on the child and family.

We will tell you everything we know about the child/young person that will come into your care. You always have the right to say yes or no to a potential placement. You also have to remember that as a foster parent, you may find out more details or behaviors from a child/young person during their time in your care as they start to confide in you. It is part of your responsibility to share these with the agency so that we can work together in managing this.

During your home study, your skills and family are assessed to see what you can offer a child/young person, who would be best placed with you, always with the child’s needs in mind. You can have preferences, but we ask our foster parents to be as open-minded as possible and focus on the needs of the child/young person. For example, you may not be of the same ethnicity as the child in our care, but looking beyond that, if you can offer a child a safe space, support, and family they need, you will learn from each other, and it could ultimately be a very successful placement for both you and the child/young person.

Everybody has a preference according to their own individual skillset, but it is very important to remain open and flexible. We try and match you to a child/young person that would thrive in your family.

We encourage our foster parents to take children/young people with them on vacation, just as you would your own children. This strengthens the attachment and builds relationships and memories.

You are required to complete a 7-week training course to help prepare you for becoming a foster parent. To maintain licensing requirements, you will need to complete 6 training hours each year.

There are some criminal offenses that would stop you from fostering. Most small offenses will not stop you from being considered as a foster parent, and your previous experiences could help you relate or provide understanding on a child/young person that may be going through something themselves. You must be completely honest with us during your home study process, so our advice is to declare your record if you have one, and then we can take this into consideration and advise you.

The home study process may feel quite intrusive, and you will be asked questions about your health, so you need to be prepared to go over your past or current mental health conditions, including how you dealt with it, what triggered it, and how you are now. Some children/young people that come into care have these mental health issues as well, so we will have to understand if their issues would potentially be too much for a foster parent to carry and deal with without being affected themselves.

Facts about Centre County Foster Parent Program

  • Kids in care: 72 as of 2/22/22
  • 27 youth are placed in our non-kinship foster homes, 12 youth are placed in kinship foster homes
  • Out of the 72 youth in care, 47 of those youth are over the age of 8
  • Current non-kinship foster homes open: 50
  • 21 non-kinship foster homes are currently available for placements.
  • Break-down is as follows:
  • Available foster homes for ages 0-8 available for full-time placement 0-8:9, short-term or respite only 0-8:6
  • Available foster homes for ages 8+ currently available for full-time placement 8+:3, short-term or respite only 8+:3
  • Available foster homes for sibling groups currently available for siblings 0-8: 2, siblings 8+:1