General CALL Questions

My grandchild/niece/cousin/brother/(insert relationship here) was taken into care, can you help me get custody?

We have no control over where foster children are placed. We cannot guarantee you are going to get any specific child if you go through the process with us. Also, to get a family member from foster care you would be considered a provisional foster home and we do not train provisional homes because the process is different.

We met a foster child and want to adopt them. Can you help us?

If parental rights of a child have not been terminated, it is not wise to start the process of being an adoptive parent with the idea of adopting that specific child. Until the day rights are terminated, there is a possibility the child will go back to the biological parents. Also, adoption specialists pick families that fit the child’s needs and wants and there’s no guarantee that you will fit with that specific child.

We found a child on the Heart Gallery and we want to adopt them. Can you help?

An adoption specialist matches families to children based on their needs and wants. Once your home is open for you to adopt, you can let your specialist know you’re interested in a child. The specialist will then see if you’re a match.

The CALL recruits, trains, and supports Christian foster families. We have no say in who approves or denies families to foster/adopt, where children are placed, or whether rights of a child are terminated. We cannot provide legal services or advice about any particular case. If you feel like you need legal advice, the best thing to do is contact a lawyer.

Requirements to foster/adopt

What are the basic requirements to foster or adopt?

Click here to read the requirements to foster or adopt.

How much money do we have to make?

There is no minimum income guideline. The Department of Children and Family Services wants to ensure that each family has the income to cover all bills without solely relying on government support. For each family, that will look different so DCFS looks at it on a case-by-case basis.

Can I foster or adopt if I have a felony?

No. DCFS does not allow people with a felony, no matter how long ago, to become foster parents.

Can I foster or adopt if I have a misdemeanor drug charge?

No. DCFS does not allow people with prior drug charges to foster.

Can I foster if I have a DUI or DWI?

The short answer is no. However, it can get complicated. If it was less than 5 years ago, then you’ll most likely get turned down. If it was further back than that and your record has been clean since then, there is a small possibility (VERY VERY SMALL) that DCFS might grant a waiver and make an exception. *This is all up to DCFS and all we can do is share our experience in this situation.  We do not make decisions about who fosters and who doesn’t.*

What if I have pets?

You can have pets. However, DCFS will want to ensure that all pets are not aggressive and they will have to stay up-to-date on their rabies shot.

Does it cost any money to go through the foster process?

The CALL nor DCFS charges families to go through the foster/adoption process. There is a small charge for the CPR certification and depending on your insurance, there may be a charge for the required physical.

What is the difference between fostering, foster family support, emergency care, and respite?

For the detailed answer, read our post here.

The (slightly) shorter answer is this:

To become a foster parent or adopt you must go through the entire foster care process. That means info meeting, background checks, home study, CPR, more paperwork, PRIDE Training, and more. As a foster parent, you will receive frequent calls to take placements that will be your foster children and your responsibility until they go home or are moved.

Emergency care families must go through the entire foster care process. However, they only accept placements on a short-term emergency basis. For example, a child needs somewhere to stay until Monday when they can be placed with their permanent foster family so someone who does emergency might keep that child for a few days. Emergency families do not take permanent placements.

A person who is foster family support is the go-to person for a specific foster family. That family will call on their FFSS when they need childcare for up 72 hours. People who are FFSS must complete a background packet and have a basic walk-through of their home.

Respite families must go through the entire foster care process. Once their home is open, they can accept temporary placements from any foster family. Respite families give full-time foster families a break. Respite families can keep children for up to two weeks.

Informational Meetings

Informational Meetings are the first step in the process to foster, adopt, or provide respite care for current foster families.

How often do you offer these meetings?

We offer informational meetings six times a year; about one every six weeks. We periodically do more if we’ve had a peak in interest, but typically we do six.

How do I find out when your next meeting is?

You can check out our Events page to find out when our next meeting is OR you can LIKE our Facebook page and keep track of our upcoming events.

What if we can’t make the upcoming informational meeting?

If you can’t make it to the upcoming meeting, there will be another one in about six weeks. Husbands and wives both must be at the meeting because it is a requirement for each individual person planning to foster or adopt.

Do we have to come to a meeting or can we meet with someone at the CALL one-on-one?

Prospective foster/adoptive/respite families have to attend an informational meeting. There are key details the DCFS case worker provides that we do not have to do individual meetings.

Can we go to an informational meeting in another county?

It is possible to attend a meeting in another county. However, the county coordinator of that county has to sign a form for DCFS and our records stating that you have attended a meeting. It is not recommended to attend in another county because this is the first chance to get to know the case worker and CALL volunteers you will be working with.

PRIDE Training

PRIDE Training is the required program all foster/adoptive/respite families must attend in order to open through DCFS. This training takes place four times a year over the course of two non-consecutive weekends.

Here are common questions we get about training:

How long does PRIDE training last?

Training is Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on both weekends. Times sometimes vary slightly, but training is 28 hours over the course of the two weekends.

Is childcare provided?

No. At this time childcare is only provided for our trainers due to limited resources and space.

We can’t attend a specific session/day/weekend of training. Can we split training up or go to a different county for training?

When you attend the informational meeting, we will show you the schedule for PRIDE Training and you will be given the opportunity to choose the training schedule that is right for you and your spouse. CALL regulations state that a family needs to go through training with the same group of people through the duration of the entire training. Training needs to be done in the county you will be fostering/adopting in because some regulations/policies vary by county.

Do we need to bring food with us or will we get a lunch break?

We provide lunch during each session of training and we also provide snacks. Unless you have special dietary needs, you do not have to bring food.

Is smoking allowed at training?

DCFS rules state that no one can smoke around a foster child. Therefore, we maintain that rule at The CALL House. Children may be on the property at any given time, including during training, so we don’t allow smoking on the property.