Frequently Asked Questions

Who Can Become a NAC Foster Parent?

NAC is looking for mature, committed adults who can open their hearts and their homes to a child with special medical needs. Potential foster parents are:

  • Over 21 years of age
  • Have a means of support through documented income (i.e. salary, employment, SSI, public assistance)
  • Have necessary housing space

Beyond being able to care for a child with special needs, foster parents must be capable of providing an emotionally stable home. NAC works with foster parents in all five boroughs of New York City, Long Island, and Westchester. ACS policy does not discriminate based on relationship status, sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

How long does it take to become a foster parent?

The certification process typically takes 3-4 months. During this time you will work with a Homefinding Social Worker to complete the required documentation and complete the needed pre-certification training.

What Is The Difference Between Foster Care And Adoption?

The biggest difference is that foster care is temporary and adoption is permanent.

Foster care involves children living with foster families when they are unable to live with their birth families due to abuse, neglect, or other problems. The goal when children enter foster care is for them to be reunited with their birth families. If a child is unable to return to his or her birth family and the birth parent’s rights are terminated, the child becomes legally freed for adoption. When a child is adopted, he or she becomes a lifelong family member. Adoptive parents have full legal rights and responsibilities to the child they adopt.

Can I Work Full-Time And Still Be A Foster Parent?

Yes. In these situations, a foster parent is responsible for coordinating day care and/or appropriate child care. Agencies can assist foster parents in obtaining day care for children in foster care.

Can I Have Pets?

Yes. We will need to meet your pet and will ask you to provide an updated vet record and vaccination report.

How Long Do Children In Foster Care Stay In A Home?

It depends on the particular child’s situation, as well as that of the birth parents.

Ultimately, the decision is determined by the Family Court Judge. Every effort is made to reunite birth parents and children appropriately; a child may live with a foster parent for a few days or for a year or more. When it is not possible for the child to reunite with his or her birth family, adoption by the foster parent may be explored.

Will Being A Foster Parent Affect My Benefits, Such As Public Assistance Or SSI?

No. Foster parents receive a monthly board rate for the child’s expenses; since this board rate is solely for the child and is therefore not income, it does not affect public assistance, SSI, or any other benefits a person may receive.

Will I Have Any Support After I Become A Foster Or Adoptive Parent?

Yes. We greatly value our foster and adoptive parents, and our support does not end once you have a child in your home. NAC offers a 24-hour hotline and many recreational events for families throughout the year. For families who adopt, we have an award-winning post-legal adoption network (PLAN) that offers multiple services. Adoptive families continue to receive financial assistance for the child’s expenses through an adoption subsidy.

Are Children In Foster Care Ever Able To Recover From The Trauma They Have Experienced?

Children are incredibly resilient and have tremendous potential to thrive when they are placed in a supportive environment and receive consistent love, patience, and stability.

Although foster and adoptive parenting is challenging, it is also extremely rewarding. Foster and adoptive parents play a critical role in helping children process the losses they have experienced and reach their full potential.

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