Foster home care is a safe, temporary placement providing 24-hour-a-day substitute care for children in Oklahoma Department of Human Services custody. Thousands of children each year are placed by the court, for various reasons, in the custody of OKDHS. The children range in age from birth to 18 years and are all races, cultures and religions. Many times the children are in sibling groups needing to be placed together. Some of the children are physically, mentally or emotionally challenged. A child may have suffered from physical abuse, sexual abuse, mental abuse or severe neglect by a person who is responsible for the child. The child’s parents may have been arrested and put in jail. Whatever the circumstances, each child has a story. Each child has many strengths and also many needs. They all need a safe, temporary place to live and tender loving care until they can return home or move to a permanent placement.
Frequently Asked Questions
If your question is not answered here, please contact us and we will be glad to help you.
Often, children enter the Child Welfare system as a sibling group and need to be placed together. A maximum of six children including your own can be in your home at one time, but no more than five OKDHS custody children can be placed.
Yes, many foster parents are employed. OKDHS pays for child care for a foster child when both foster parents or a single foster parent works 20 or more hours a week outside the home.
OKDHS foster parents are not paid a salary. They receive a monthly reimbursement to help meet the needs of the foster children based on set rates [Appendix C-20].
Yes. Foster parents are required to complete 27 hours of pre-service training which includes 6 hours of Behavior Crisis Management Training before being approved. Then they must complete 12 hours of additional training per calendar year.
Yes. As part of the application process, you will be asked to complete a checklist indicating the ages and types of children you are willing to accept. Once you are approved, when a child or siblings are in need of placement, the worker will provide non-identifying information to help a foster family decide whether they are willing to accept a particular child into their home.
Children in OKDHS custody receive a medical card that covers most medical expenses and prescription medication for foster children within the scope of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority programs. Foster parents are expected to transport foster children to the doctor.
OKDHS policy does not allow any person to administer corporal punishment to a child in OKDHS custody. This includes the foster parent, child care staff, school officials or any other person who has contact with the child. OKDHS policy does allow using time out and taking away privileges, among other tools.
During the family assessment process, a social worker makes several visits to your home to obtain information about you and your family. You and all adults in your home are required to consent to a criminal background check. You are also required to complete an application, a financial statement and provide a medical statement from the doctor of your choice. You need to provide personal references. If you have adult children they are contacted, as well as your current employer. If you have school-age children, their schools are also contacted. Military service will be verified.
Yes. You may have to work with the child’s birth parent. The OKDHS Foster Parent Program is comprised of a team of persons working together to do what is in the best interest of children. Foster parents are critical members of the team. The goal of a child placed in OKDHS custody is to achieve safety and permanency as soon as possible which includes working with the child’s parents towards reunification.