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Mission Statement

The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian church.

Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.

 

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Mark 9:36-37 He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them, "Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me."

 Foster Care

Click on the links below to access information about our Foster Care program and how you can help.  If you prefer, you can scroll through the document. For questions or more information about our foster care program, email: Foster_Care_Recruiter@usc.salvationarmy.org

What is Foster Care?

Foster parenting is caring for a child who has been abused or neglected until the court releases the child to his/her parents, to resume their caretaking responsibility, or until a permanent plan such as placement with relatives or adoption is achieved. The Salvation Army Foster Care is looking for foster parents who are committed to working with the child through this difficult period in his/her life and who are able to work well with the department in achieving the foster care goal set for the child.

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History of Foster Care

Some of the earliest documentation of children being cared for in foster homes can be found in the Old Testament and in the Talmud.  These references establish caring for dependent children as a duty under law.  Early Christian church records also show children were boarded with "worthy widows" who were paid by collections from the congregation.

It was English Poor Law, however, that lead to Boydevelopment and eventual regulation of family foster care in the United States.  In 1562, these laws allowed the placement of poor children into indentured service until they came of age.  This practice was imported to the United States and was the beginning of placing children into homes.  Even though indentured service permitted abuse and exploitation, it was a step forward from almshouses where children did not learn a trade and were exposed to horrendous surroundings and unsavory adults.  Various forms of indenturing children persisted into the first decade of this century.

In 1636, less than thirty years after the founding of the Jamestown Colony, at the age of seven, Benjamin Eaton became this nation's first foster child.

In 1853, Charles Loring Brace began the free foster home movement.  A minister and director of the New York Children's Aid Society, Brace was concerned about the large number of immigrant children sleeping in the streets of New York.  He devised a plan to provide them homes by advertising in the South and West for families willing to provide free homes for these children, whether for charitable reasons or whatever help these children could be to them.  In many cases, these children were placed in circumstances similar to indenture.  However, Brace's daring and creative action became the foundation for the foster care movement as it exists today.

As a result of the New York Children's Aid Society's placements, sectarian social agencies and state governments became involved in foster home placements. Three states led the movement.  Massachusetts, prior to 1865, began paying board to families who took care of children too young to be indentured.  Pennsylvania passed the first licensing law in 1885, which made it a misdemeanor to care for two or more unrelated children without a license.  South Dakota began providing subsidies to the Children's Home Society after it was organized in 1893 for its public child care work.

During the early 1900's, social agencies began to supervise foster parents.  Records were kept, children's individual needs were considered when placements were made, and the federal government began supporting state inspections of family foster homes.  Services were provided to natural families to enable the child to return home and foster parents were now seen as part of a professional team working to find permanency for dependent children.

National Foster Parent Association 2008

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Who Can Foster?

A foster parent must be:

  • Married or single
  • 21 years of age or older
  • Able to meet their personal expenses without having to rely on foster care payments
  • Able to provide a safe, healthy home with enough space for a child
  • Willing to work with the agency, children's families, shools and others
  • Able to help a child cope with separation from his family and with the effects of abuse and neglect
  • Able to attend all pre-servicing training
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Steps to Become a Foster Parent

Call The Salvation Army Koch Center at 316-263-2769. Ask to speak to a Recruiter. We will answer any questions you may have.

You may also email the Recruiter Karen_Lippoldt@usc.salvationarmy.org

Following this contact, one of our foster care staff will then visit with you at your convenience. This visit is preferably done at your home at which time the Recruiter will provide a courtesy licensing walk through. The walk through will give you and the Recruiter an indication of whether or not your home will meet Kansas Department Of Health and Environment's licensing requirements.

The next step is enrolling in PS-Mapp classes. PS-MAPP stands for Partnering for Safety andTeen Girl Permanence Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting. The course is a thirty hour comprehensive foster care information and training course required by the State of Kansas. It will give you and your family the information you will need to make a decision about fostering. The PS Mapp classes meet one day a week for 10 weeks, three hours at a time. The days and times will vary.

The Salvation Army offers an alternative class for families with scheduling difficulties. It is call Deciding Together. This class consists of the identical information and training materials as PS Mapp, however, the class is a maximum of three families and is completed in 7 weeks.

If, after completing the pre-servicing course, you would like to become a licensed foster parent, we will help you complete the needed licensing paperwork. Throughout this process we will explore with you the type of child that would be compatible with your family.

Once you have your licensing packet completed, your Recruiter will send it to Kansas Department of Health and Environment. They will review your packet and schedule a surveyor to come to your home for your final inspection and approval of your license.

Links:
Kansas Department Of Health and Environment
Licensing and Registration laws http://nrckids.org/STATES/KS/ks_laws.pdf

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Frequently asked Questions about Foster Care

#1:       Don't I have to be married?

There are so many different kinds of families in this day and age; single moms, single dads, married couples, unmarried couples, etc.  You are not required to be married to become a licensed foster parent/resource home with Salvation Army Foster Care.

#2:       Don't I have to own my own home?

Certainly not!  Whether you own your home or rent (you can even live in an apartment) - as long as your home meets the state licensing requirements - you can become a licensed foster parent/resource home with Salvation Army Foster Care.

#3:       How old is too old?

With age comes wisdom and experience; some of our most successful resource homes are retirees and "empty-nesters".  If you are physically and mentally healthy and able to care for children placed in your home you can become a licensed foster parent/resource home with Salvation Army Foster Care.

#4:       If I still have children at home, can I foster?Sad Teen

All kids need to be able to play and relate with other kids.  As long as you can provide a bed for each child and maintain a clean and healthy home environment you can become a licensed foster parent/resource home with Salvation Army Foster Care.

#5:       If I don't have kids of my own, can I foster?

As we stated earlier, there are all kinds of families - the most important notion to remember is that kids in foster care need someone to talk to and someone to help provide for their basic needs of security, stability and unconditional love.  If you can meet these needs you can become a licensed foster parent/resource home with Salvation Army Foster Care.

And you say you don't have any parenting experience....... That's ok too.  You will be provided with the training you need to be a successful foster parent/resource home.

#6:       How much money do I have to make?.

You do need to demonstrate that you are financially able to provide for the basic needs of your immediate household.  However, you don't have to be wealthy to become a licensed foster parent/resource home with Salvation Army Foster Care.

#7:        Do foster parent get paid?

We understand how much it costs to provide for the basic needs of your family and we don't want to create any undue hardship.  Licensed foster parent/resource homes receive a monthly reimbursement (non-taxable) to assist with housing, food, clothing and activities based on the age and level of care required for the children placed in their home.  Medical insurance is provided and in some instances daycare is provided as well. Foster children are eligible for free books/lunches at school. In some situations, foster parents are able to claim a foster child on their taxes.

#8:       Do I get to have input in what happens with the children placed with me?

Each resource family has something different to offer; a great deal of effort is put forth to match children with a home that will provide a nurturing environment for the duration of the child's placement in the foster care system.  We want successful matches.  When you get a call regarding a possible placement, please consider it carefully and ask as many questions as you can think of.

#9:       Do the kids in foster care just get moved from house to house so they can't form healthy attachment to their foster families.

No.   We are all aware that kids need a stable home environment in which to grow and flourish; it is for that reason that we prefer to make an ideal match between foster/resource homes and the children in the foster care system.

Profile Teen Boy#10:  What if I get too attached?!

Many of the children that come into the foster care system are victims of abuse and neglect and one of their greatest needs is for someone to nurture them...... to get attached and be involved in their lives.  And when the time comes, letting go is never easy, but laying a foundation of security and stability for the children that come through your home is as rewarding and satisfying for you as for the kids themselves.

You may have room in your home, but it is the room in your heart that these kids need the most!

Please contact us and let us help you get started on your journey to becoming a licensed foster home.  We will be more than happy to answer any lingering questions you may have.  Our hearts can only grow when we open them - will you open yours?

 

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 Basic Requirements for Becoming a Foster Parent

 Age appropriate regulations:

For children under 6 yrs of age:

  • Spacing between balusters on stairways is 3 ½" or less OR
  • Spacing between balusters on stairways is greater than 4" are guarded to prevent entrapment of a child's head or body or a child falling through
  • Electrical outlets are covered
  • Household cleaning supplies and bodily care products with warning labels or that contain alcohol are in a locked storage OR stored out of reach of children under 6
  • Sharp instruments are stored in child proof drawer OR out of reach of children under 6 yrs

 For children under 3 yrs of age:

  • Stairways with two or more stairs and a landing are gated when child under 3 is present
  • No accordion gates
  • Latch can be readily opened by adult
  • Pressure gates are not used at top of stairway
  • Protective barrier provided for each fireplace and freestanding heating appliance
  • Child between 12-18 months sleeps in a crib only

For children under 12 months of age

  • Cribs have firm mattress and slats no more than 2 3/8 inches apart
  • Crib corner post extensions do not exceed 1 1/16 inch

 General Environmental Requirements

  • FFH meets local requirements for -zoning/fire protection/water supply/sewage disposal
  • Private water supply is tested for nitrate and bacteria levels annually
  • Floors are covered, painted or sealed in all living areas
  • Floors kept clean and maintained in good repair
  • Closets can be readily opened from the inside by a child
  • Stairway with two or more stairs and a landing has a handrail
  • Stairways are guarded on each side
  • Bathroom has a hinged solid door, all fixtures working and door can be opened from each side without a key

 Exits/Windows:TeenGirl

  • Each floor used as living space has two means of escape - one escape is an unobstructed pathway leading to an exit door to the outside. Second exit leads directly outside. Escape windows measure at least 821 square inches (w-20" and h 24") and exit is within 44 inches of the floor.
  • Each door can be opened from the inside with no more than two motions
  • Screens can be readily removed from the inside
  • Windows and doors used for ventilation are screened
  • Working telephone is on premises and available for use at all times. Emergency numbers are posted or readily accessible
  • Smoke detector is installed on each level of the home and in each bedroom in use
  • Carbon Monoxide detector installed adjacent to sleeping areas

 Interior of home:

  • Free from accumulation of visible dirt
  • Evidence of vermin infestation
  • Dangerous objects or materials

 Weapons:

  • No child has access to firearms/ammunition/air powered guns/bb guns/pellet guns and paint ball guns. Or hunting and fishing knives/archery and martial arts equipment
  • Firearms are stored unloaded in a locked container, closet or cabinet
  • Firearms are secured with a hammer lock, barrel lock or trigger guard if storage area is made of glass or Plexiglas
  • Ammunition is locked separately
  • Archery equipment/hunting and fishing knives and other weapons are in locked storage
  • Keys to locked areas are in FF control at all time

 Household Chemicals and heating sources:

  • Tools not in use are inaccessible to children
  • Tools only used by children under supervision of an adult
  • Chemicals and household supplies with warning labels are in a locked storage OR out of reach of children under
  • Heating appliances/fireplaces/wood stoves are vented to the outside unless designed otherwise
  • Flue or chimney is checked annually and cleaned by a qualified chimney sweep
  • Clothes dryers are vented to the outside or a venting device installed

 Mobile homes:

  • Must have two exits at least 20 feet apart with one being within 35 ft of each bedroom
  • Are skirted with latticed or solid skirting
  • Securely anchored by cable to the ground

 Sleeping Space:

  • Sufficient to accommodate all persons living in the home
  • Does not include
    • an unfinished attic
    • an unfinished basement
    • a hall
    • a closet
    • a laundry room
    • a garage            
    • living space normally used for other than sleepin
    • a room that provide passage to a common use room, another bedroom or outdoors
  • Bedroom must be at least 70 square feet
  • Has 45 square feet for each person sharing room
  • Has a solid hinged door
  • Must have a separate bed for each child
  • Bunk beds need rails on all sides
  • For respite, a rollaway bed or other temporary bed is allowed

 Age Mates for children over the age of 5 sharing a room

  • Must be the same sex
  • Can share if within 3 yrs of age of each other
  • Separate and accessible drawer space for personal belongings
  • Children over the age of 12 months do not sleep in parent's room except in case of medical reasons

 Safety Plans/Procedures

  • Emergency plans are developed for fire,tornado,storms,flood, and serious injury
  • Plans are posted in public area
  • Fire drills are conducted monthly
  • Tornado drills are conducted (April-September)

 Outside Premises

  • Free from dangerous objects and materials
  • Play equipment is in good repair and anchored properly
  • NO trampolines allowed
  • If home is within 50 yards of a busy street, railroad tracks, water hazard and is not fenced, a safety plan will be developed

 Swimming poolsTeen boy swimming

  • Safety rules are posted
  • In ground pools are enclosed by a 5 foot fence
  • Above ground pools are 4 feet high or enclosed by a 5 foot fence. Steps are removed when not in use.
  • A person with CPR is in attendance when pool is in use
  • Wading pools are supervised and emptied daily
  • Hot tub is covered with a locking cover or surrounded by 5 ft fence
  • No child under 4 uses the hot tub
  • Ponds and lakes are approved by KDHE as safe for swimming and only used by child 6 or older and knows how to swim.

 Pets

  • Pet area is kept clean with no evidence of flea, tick or worm infestation
  • Each animal is in good health, friendly and poses no threat to children
  • Vaccinations current
  • No pit bulls, exotic animals or venomous/constricting reptiles allowed

Please keep in mind; these are basic descriptions of the regulations. For more detailed descriptions, please consult the KDHE handbook or the KDHE Website:  http://www.kdheks.gov/bcclr/regs.html

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