What is Traditional Foster Care?
The SCYAP Traditional Foster Care Program is a collaborative program between SCYAP and the South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS).
Through this program SCYAP provides placement services to children in foster care who need a safe and nurturing placement while they are in out of home placement, but do not require the intensity of therapeutic services.
Just as with Therapeutic Foster Care, SCYAP assigns a caseworker (we call them Treatment Coordinators) to the foster parent/home to provide support, guidance and training and to assist with care coordination.
Foster Care Parents are Special People
Foster parents are needed throughout South Carolina, and the first step to becoming a foster parent is to learn more about foster care.
Children enter foster care when they’ve been in situations in which they’ve been abused, neglected, have experienced a significant loss, or have otherwise not had their needs met. The experience of being taken out of their home can bring about feelings of confusion, anxiety, fear, grief, anger, and loss of control. Providing care for children and youth that have all of these experiences and feelings can be difficult, but for those who make the commitment, it can be a rewarding and life changing experience!
Foster parents are very special people. They bring children in need into their homes and into their hearts for days, months, or years and sometimes permanently. They provide a combination of hard work and heart work. Through the giving of time, energy, love, guidance, and patience, foster parents make a difference in the lives of the children and families in need.
What are the requirements for being a foster parent?
It’s not too hard to become a foster parent but there are some minimum requirements that you, your family, and your home must meet.
What about age, race, religion, and sex?
You must be at least 21 years of age. You can be male or female and any race or religion. You can be single, married, widowed, divorced, or have a room-mate or life partner.
Do I need a lot of money?
You don’t have to have a lot of money to be a foster parent, but you do need to be able to make ends meet. Foster parents must show that they can take on the additional expenses of having foster children in their home and they cannot be dependent upon the daily foster parent payment as their source of income.
SCYAP foster families receive a tax-free reimbursement to cover basic expenses of caring for each child placed in their home. Payments are made twice monthly via direct deposit with the daily amount being based on the severity of the child’s needs and the number of days the child was placed in the foster home.
Do I have to own my home?
You can be a foster parent whether you own or rent your home. It doesn’t matter if it is an apartment, mobile home, or a house. It just has to be safe and have enough room for additional children to live, play and sleep. Foster parents are required to pass fire, safety, and health inspections and have home owners or renters insurance.
What will I need to do?
You and any other adult household member (age 18 or older) must undergo and pass background checks, including a review of past child abuse and neglect charges and a criminal background check through SLED and the FBI, and not be listed on either the State or National Sex Offender Registry.
You and all other household members (including any children residing in your home) must have a physical examination by a qualified medical professional that verifies that you (and all other household members) are in good physical and mental health.
To help you understand how to care for foster children, you will have to go to training before and during your time as a foster parent.
What about the child's family?
Foster care is meant to be temporary, and in most cases the goal is for the child to return to his or her family. Foster parents can encourage the child’s connection with his or her family by assisting with visitation, setting up telephone calls, facilitating letter writing or card sending, passing along pictures of the child to the family, etc. We will ensure that involvement with the child’s family is done in a manner that is safe and as comfortable as possible for everyone.
Did you know SCYAP offers two foster care programs?
It can get a little confusing to try to figure out the difference between these two programs, but they are in fact distinctive services and the requirements and expectations of the foster parents providing Therapeutic Foster Care or Traditional Foster Care are also different.
While both Therapeutic and Traditional Foster Care provide a nurturing, safe, and caring home to children who require placement away from their families, the services provided to the children and youth and role of the foster parent is different. SCYAP foster parents can provide either Therapeutic Foster Care or Traditional Foster Care, or they can provide both Therapeutic Foster Care and Traditional Foster Care (at the same time or independently), depending on the status and needs of the child(ren)/youth placed in their home.
Learning more about foster care and how to become a foster parent is the first step to helping.
Submit an inquiry to let us know you are interested, and a SCYAP representative will contact you as soon as possible. There is no obligation – just an opportunity to learn more and help children in foster care. Please note that SCYAP only licenses families living in South Carolina.