BlogPost: Foster Care FAQs

FAQs on Becoming a Foster Parent in Ohio

  • January 19th, 2024
  • By Pathway Caring for Children

Are you looking for a life-changing opportunity to make a positive impact? Consider opening your heart and home to a child in need through fostering. Dive into our comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section to learn more about becoming a Pathway Foster Parent. Discover how you can provide a safe and nurturing environment, and be a beacon of hope and support for a child’s future. We can’t wait to hear how YOU want to make a difference!

Before Becoming Foster Parent

Why does being a foster parent matter?

Every child deserves a safe, loving environment. As a foster parent, you can be the soft landing spot and make a difference in a child’s life by offering stability, support, and a brighter future. It’s a big commitment, but YOU can do it! Pathway staff give you support every step of your foster care journey.

What is the difference between Pathway and a county agency?

  • Pathway is a private agency that works with 14 Northeast Ohio counties to place kids in loving homes.
  • There is ongoing wrap-around therapeutic support for each child and family including mental health counseling, mentoring, and fun agency events and activities for families.
  • The county agency is always the custodial agent of each child in care.
  • Pathway does not remove children from their homes. This is the responsibility of the county agency. The county agency calls Pathway to place a foster child in Pathway’s foster care network.
  • Pathway Case Managers typically have smaller caseloads and build ongoing relationships with children and foster families.

Process of Becoming a Foster Parent in Ohio

How do I become a foster parent?

  1. Call, email, or inquire to get more information. Fill out the form on this page:
  2. Pass all necessary background checks
  3. Complete pre-service training. 12 sessions designed to help you care for a child who has experienced trauma. Power weekends are occasionally offered to finish your training hours in a condensed timeframe.
  4. Complete your home study.
  5. Say YES to a child in need of a safe and loving home!

How long does it take to get licensed?

Pre-service Training needs to be complete and all Pathway and State of Ohio requirements are met. Pre-Service is a 12-week series meant to educate you on caring for a child who has experienced trauma. Licensing also includes your home study and completing your foster care checklist. You will be guided by Pathway staff through each of these steps.

What is a home study?

The home study can seem intimidating, but Pathway staff will walk you through every step! It is just a story about your family. It’s all about getting to know the environment a foster child will be welcomed into and if they will be the right fit. This is one of the last pieces before becoming licensed!

What happens during the home inspection?

The home must be kept in a safe and sanitary condition, with some inspections required. The Pathway Licensing Assessor will conduct a Safety Audit.  Your Licensing Assessor will review all of this at the initial licensing meeting!

How long does it take to get a placement once licensed?

As soon as the next day! This all depends on referrals from partner Ohio county agencies and foster parents agree or willingness to take a placement in their home.

Foster Parenting Daily Per Diem

How are Foster Parents paid and how much?

This will be determined by the child’s placement level from the county agency. Foster parents are given a per diem to help pay for the extra responsibilities of caring for a foster child, i.e. food, clothing, school supplies, childcare, etc. Please note there are many different determinates, and these are only estimates, as per diems are subject to change.

What is the difference between a stipend and per diem?

A stipend is a one-time payment for attending training hours. A per diem is the daily amount you are paid to take care of foster children.

Types of Foster Care

What does therapeutic foster care mean?

Therapeutic licensed homes care for children who have experienced trauma, often in the forms of abuse and neglect. This also might mean children with medical needs and large sibling groups or teenagers. Our parents receive additional hours of training to be better prepared to provide informed care.

Helping a Foster Child Adjust

Does Pathway transport children to visits and or appointments?

Foster parents are required to transport their foster children. Paid mileage is given for approved transportation needs. Pathway staff may help if possible.

Can the foster children go to the school district I live in if they are from a different district?

Yes, Pathway case manager will assist with all transitions to help with new schools and new schedules.

Are we allowed to take children to church?

Yes, but a child cannot be forced to attend a religious service if they choose not to due to religious reasons or if birth parents request that they do not.

Pathway’s Foster Care Training

After Pre-Service how much Training do we have to complete each year?

Family foster care level families must complete 30 hours of training and Treatment level Families must complete 45 hours of ongoing training all provided by Pathway. Foster parents receive a stipend for completing training as an incentive to stay on top of their skills to best help foster children

Does Pathway provide the training? Is it all virtual?

Pathway provides continual training on a regular basis. Most trainings are virtual with a live trainer, in-person trainings are also offered all free of cost to you.

Can the children in foster care have babysitters?

Yes, family members and friends can become Alternative Care providers in your home with a few background requirements.

Does Pathway pay for Childcare when foster parents work?

No, Foster parents are required to pay for any out of home care for the children placed in their home. A daily per diem is all meant to cover the costs of basic care needs for children in foster care.

Adopting Foster Children

Do foster parents have to be married to adopt their foster children?

You can be single, married, divorced, or widowed to be a foster or adoptive parent.

If foster parents are both licensed and are co-parents, one can adopt the child. More information can be shared at Licensing meetings.

More Foster Care FAQs Answered on our YouTube Channel

Learn more with our informative YouTube playlist: “Foster Care FAQs: Essential Knowledge for Aspiring Foster Parents“. We tackle common questions and concerns related to foster care in Ohio, and provide valuable insights and guidance for those considering or currently involved in foster care.

Have more questions? We can’t wait to hear from you! All questions are good questions, don’t hesitate to reach out! or 330-818-0444.