Foster families provide a home for children who have been abandoned, neglected or abused and who temporarily are not able to live at home. During the time that children live in a foster home, the foster parents provide the same care that the children's own parents would provide. Foster parents also help the children understand that they will be either returning to their own families or adopted, whichever is the case. Foster parenting is a commitment to make a meaningful contribution to a child's life, although it may not require a lifetime commitment to a child.
Being a foster parent is a big responsibility that brings with it great rewards. The requirements for becoming a foster parent are not complicated, and the Division of Child Protection and Permanency, DCP&P (formerly the Division of Youth and Family Services, DYFS), will help you through the steps to become a foster parent and provide training to help you understand the special needs your foster child may have. While a foster child is in your home, DCP&P provides many supports to assist in their care.
The Division will not preclude a person from being a foster parent based solely on their culture, religion, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, affectional orientation, or marital/civil union or domestic partnership status.
As a foster parent, you will experience the joy of parenting, even if it is temporary. You will also have the satisfaction of knowing you have made a positive difference in the life of a child.