If you've recently sent your youngest child off to college and are less than thrilled with having a quiet and empty home, consider becoming a foster parent. By being a foster parent, you can fulfill your longing to guide and nurture children while providing them with a safe and loving home. In fact, many empty-nesters become foster parents, according to Forbes magazine.
To become a foster parent, you will need to meet several requirements in order to become licensed. Here's what you need to know about the licensing requirements and how they pertain to your status as the parent of a college student.
Licensing Requirements for You & Other Household Members
Part of the licensing requirements to become a foster parent involves extensive criminal background checks on not only you, but also on anyone else in the home who is an adult, even if they only reside in your home temporarily such as when your college student is home for break. Another requirement that will be necessary to meet and will affect your college student is that everyone who lives in the home will need to have a physical exam done. Therefore, you may need to schedule your college student's physical exam to be done during a weekend when they'll be home from college, if possible.
Requirements for Your Home
Since you're likely considering transforming your college student's bedroom into a room to be used by foster children, you'll need to have a place for your college student to sleep and hang out in when they are home from school. It's important that you keep in mind that for the fire and safety inspection, you will need to have done in your home, you should have the furniture and bedrooms arranged by how they will be when you have foster children in your care and your college student is at home. Be sure the fire and safety inspector understands this as he or she may want to know or see how the rooms and furniture in your home may be rearranged based on when your college student is home and away at college.
Also, part of the inspection of your home will include testing the temperature of the water at your faucets. Will your water heater provide enough hot water for you, your spouse, your college student, and your foster children? Concerns such as this can be determined prior to your home inspection when the foster parent licensing agency gives you a checklist of the various things that will be assessed and inspected in your home.
For more information on foster parent licensing, contact a licensing agency.