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Frequently Asked Questions

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The Department of Human Services Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS) is looking for responsible, nurturing adults who are willing to contract with us to be specialized foster parents for individuals with developmental disabilities.

The children and adults in the care of DDS have  intellectual disabilities and other developmental or physical disabilities. This means they will need support and care throughout their lives. 

Caring for individuals with developmental disabilities is a very important role. At times it is very difficult and demanding. Foster parents are paid by DDS for their services because of the level of commitment that is required on an ongoing basis. Room and board payments are also paid to the foster parent for the individual’s personal care needs. These payments come from their Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The individual’s medical and dental expenses are covered through Medicaid. 

Specialized Foster Parents are able to meet individuals needing services before taking them into their home to make sure they are compatible. Several visits routinely take place prior to a decision being made and an individual moving into the foster family’s home.

Foster parents are not expected to carry on this work alone. Our program is based on teamwork between foster parents and DDS case managers. Other professionals may be part of the individual’s service team depending on needs. The team works to reunite the individual with their birth family whenever possible. A Foster Care Specialist will be available to assist you with questions and in the placing of an individual in your home. Local foster parent associations may also provide additional information and support.

How to become a Specialized Foster Parent

Prospective foster parents must complete required training and go through an in-depth home-study process. Most of the training is free, however, there are a few classes that providers attend at their own expense. Training must be completed before a child or adult is placed in the home.

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Who can become a Specialized Foster Parent?

We are looking for caring, nurturing adults, who are either single or married. Experience in caring for others is an asset, but not a requirement. Applicants must have a physical examination and submit financial information. Background checks are obtained from law enforcement agencies on all adult household members before applicants are approved to provide foster care. Applicants may drop out of the home-study process at any point if they feel it is not right for them or any of their family members. 

Foster parents are people of different ages, races, income levels and backgrounds. They are people like you—people who care about others and want to make a difference in someone’s life.

Will you consider becoming a specialized foster parent? 

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What is Respite?

Respite services provide a temporary break, rest or relief from full time care for a caregiver of an individual with developmental disabilities.  This service can be completed at the individual's home or the home of the respite provider.

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Who do I contact?

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