STEP 1: Inquiry
- You contact CHOICES, Inc. for information. (937) 264-0084 ext. 111
- We send you an information packet and give you call to discuss the next steps.
- You carefully consider and discuss foster parenting information with family, friends, etc.
STEP 2: Orientation/Training
- You talk with our recruiter to determine when to begin training, and show up to your first training class. While at your first class you will complete an information form and receive your application
- You attend 36 hours (12 classes) of CHOICES pre-placement training.
- During pre-placement training you will attend an Orientation and Policy class at which time you receive a foster care manual to include all CHOICES, Inc. policies and ODJFS rules.
STEP 3: Paperwork & Fingerprints
- Once you complete and return your application, you will be given the remainder of the paperwork to be completed. A licensing worker will walk you through all the necessary paperwork and collect items as you complete them.
- After 4-5 classes, your fingerprints are taken and copies of your driver’s license and social security card are obtained to allow for all necessary background checks.
STEP 4: Home Study
- Once the application has been completed, an assessor completes several home visits during which they interview each member of the household.
- A licensing worker will also ensure that all necessary documentation is completed in a professional manner, including: medical statements for everyone in the home, fire inspection, local police checks, income verification, 3 personal references, pet records if applicable, etc.
STEP 5: Decision
- If at any time during the process a CHOICES, Inc. assessor has a concern about your home or finds cause not to move forward with the process, that information will be shared with you immediately.
- If all required steps have been completed and both parties are in agreement to move forward, CHOICES, Inc. sends recommendation to the Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) that your home be approved as a licensed foster home.
STEP 6: Licensing
- ODJFS reviews our request and issues a foster care license for your home.
- We receive two licenses – one is maintained in your file at CHOICES, Inc. and the other is given to you for your records.
STEP 7: Placement
- The CHOICES, Inc. placement coordinator contacts you about youth needing placement.
- You welcome a foster child into your home.
- You attend at least 30 or 45 hours of training every 2 years for your recertification period to maintain your license. The number of on-going training hours you will need is dependent on whether you are a licensed Family Foster Home or a Treatment Foster Home
STEP 8: Ongoing Case Management Services
- Foster care worker begins regular weekly home visits to provide support to you and to ensure the foster youth in your home receive the care and services they need.
- We have an after hours phone that our caseworkers rotate weekly for crisis management.
- A licensing Social Worker will visit your home once a year, at minimum, to ensure your foster care license is maintained.
CHOICES, Inc. is committed to supporting the foster parents that care for foster youth. Some of the support services that CHOICES provides include:
- Case Management services—links to community resources – CHOICES, Inc. Social Workers and Case Manager’s work diligently to insure that all of the youth’s needs are being met and foster parents have the resources necessary to support the children placed in their homes. We work cooperatively with agencies including county public child welfare, juvenile court, local schools, hospitals and counseling centers to provide the best possible services to our foster youth.
- In Home Mental Health Services- CHOICES case managers have the ability to coordinate in home mental health services through our Home Based Services program if a child is not already involved in services with an outside mental health agency. These services are provided in the foster home with a mental health professional to provide individual counseling for the youth, as well as supportive parenting to foster parents. CHOICES mental health services also include Telehealth psychiatric services for youth that are in need of medication management services.
- Crisis counseling—available 24/7 – utilizing our after hours number. Each foster parent is provided a directory with contact information for all the staff so they can reach someone when needed.
- Assistance with behavior management techniques through in-home visits – CHOICES, Inc. workers visit the foster youth and foster families a minimum of three times a month and provide outstanding support to both the parents and the youth. Because working with special needs children can be very challenging, our staff are prepared to offer a wide range of behavior modification techniques designed to help children change behavior, provide intervention tips, connect youth with needed services, and problem solve with families in order to keep them healthy and strong
- Ongoing training for foster caregivers – CHOICES, Inc. offers an extensive on-going training program to support our foster families. Specialists are brought in from all over the state of Ohio to share their expertise on a wide variety of topics important to our foster families.
- Daily board rate to reimburse expenses associated with caring for a foster youth – While caring and providing for foster youth can be costly, CHOICES, Inc provides a daily per diem rate to our foster families for each of the children placed in their home. This payment is not taxable, it is not income, but designed solely to reimburse our families for the cost of caring for the youth. The daily per diem rate is determined by the specific age and special needs of each child.