Foster Care- 115 Ways We Shine
Foster care is one those things that you will never really understand until you’re a part of it.
The 115 dedicated foster parents at OhioGuidestone know exactly what it is like to provide care for a child in need and help change the lives of thousands of children across Ohio.
For sure, foster parenting comes with challenges, but they are far overshadowed by the many stories of success, whether that be through reunification with biological parents or through our children finding a forever home via adoption or kinship placement.
Our treatment team leaders and support staff are dedicated to keeping children in the least restrictive environment with a safe and loving family. The foster parents at OhioGuidestone are no different in their passion and dedication. We are available 24/7.
Becoming a Licensed Foster Parent
OhioGuidestone is a private foster care agency, where we walk potential parents through the entire licensure process, as well as their entire experience as a foster caregiver.
Our virtual training options accommodate potential caregivers who work full time, and we have home study assessors, with flexible schedules who are ready to work with someone who wants to help children.
The licensure process doesn’t have to be overwhelming. This is why our team utilizes online portals to gather paperwork and track inquires, allowing applicants to easily work on their required items whenever they have the time.
Foster Care as a Single Parent or Same Sex Couple
A good foster parent can be of any marital status or social status, live in house or an apartment, and have no previous parenting experience.
An open mind and a loving heart are the most important requirements for OhioGuidestone foster parents. We provide the rest.
In addition to a two-parent foster home, OhioGuidestone has many foster families consisting of a single parent fostering one or more children, every bit as successfully as other families. At OhioGuidestone we create a community family with our foster parents and children.
A single child in a single parent home is still a family and becomes part of the larger OhioGuidestone family. We believe each parent and child deserves the sense of belonging that comes from connecting with other children and caregivers in foster care.
We celebrate and connect through events and social gatherings, sharing birthdays, holidays, milestones, and other fun activities.
Foster Care for Children Who Need it Most.
Parenting itself is difficult but add in a child’s experience of abuse and/or neglect, and foster parenting can be especially challenging.
The state of Ohio requires foster parents to take a minimum of 24 hours of training on the realities that caregivers face when parenting children who have been abused and/or neglected.
This is where OhioGuidestone is exceptional. Because we are the state’s leader in community behavioral health, we provide a continuum of youth mental health services and support programs for foster families, along with trained professionals who find solutions to problems and ways to enhance the parenting process.
Once licensed, OhioGuidestone staff directly serve foster parents by supporting the parent as well as the child in the home. Our staff is trained in Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI) via Cornell University and well versed on create solutions to typical trauma related behaviors.
We are passionate about helping children heal from trauma. Creative interventions and intensive services can all be completed in the home to help the child feel more comfortable as well as provide the foster parent with flexibility in their schedule.
Our creative solutions for foster families often involve play. One of our experts suggests a clever way to help children open up about their feelings and experiences is through games that have colors or pieces that can be connected to feelings and events. Read more about games.
Playing games also gives children a chance to learn and practice coping skills when things don’t go their way.
Foster Care for Children Considered Medically Fragile
Medically Fragile licensure is the highest level in the state of Ohio.
Licensing within our agency is unique in the sense that you can become licensed to care for foster children who are deemed medically fragile- children born with substance exposure or addiction, or born with medical conditions such as asthma, allergies, diabetes, and more.
Licensure for Medically Fragile children allows foster parents to care for any level of child in foster care. This level of care requires ongoing additional training to assist foster parents in caring for children with medical needs.
Our treatment team leaders and support staff are dedicated to keeping children in the least restrictive environment with a safe and loving family. A good support system is critical and therefore something that we make a priority at our agency.
Picnics, parties, group trainings, and support meetings are just some of the ways that our foster parents stay in touch and support one another. Getting parents together and involved can be a great way to increase a sense of belonging to a community, which is at utmost importance to foster care families.
Foster Care to Adopt through OhioGuidestone
A safe and loving forever home is all we want for the children that we serve, and the driving reason behind everything we do here at OhioGuidestone. We want to help parents and children grow and heal together.
Ideally and whenever possible children in the foster care system are reunified with their parents. As long as it is safe for them to do so, many foster children do go back to their biological families.
When reunification isn’t possible, adoption is a solution. The entire adoption process can be completed with OhioGuidestone. Our agency works directly with the PCSA (Public Child Service Agency) to match families with children who are in permanent custody and legally adopt.
We are always in search of families who are not only willing to work with biological parents to support reunification, but also open their homes and hearts to children who might be in need of a forever home. This is especially true for our teenaged foster children.
The foster parents at OhioGuidestone are passionate and dedicated to giving children a safe and loving home and family. Even as the homes and the families differ, but they are all part of one giant, deeply rooted OhioGuidestone family.
OhioGuidestone’s dedication to children goes back to the year 1864, when one Berea family provided a home for nine children orphaned by the civil war.
We invite you to become a part of our legacy and join us in becoming a foster parent. You will find more information on how to become an OhioGuidestone foster parent here: https://ohioguidestone.org/services/family-mental-health-services/foster/