Answers to the Most Frequently
Asked Questions About Resource Care
WHAT IS RESOURCE FAMILY CARE?
The State Licenses Non-Profit Foster Family Agencies to recruit and train resource family homes to offer a temporary home for a child whose parents are having a crisis. The goal provides safe, nurturing place for children to live until they can be reunited with their own families. Resource children range in age from birth to 20 years.
Most children experiencing separation from their families will exhibit some emotional or behavioral problems. Some children may be moderately-to-severely mentally or physically handicapped. The most effective way to care for the wide variety of foster children’s needs usually involves a combination of skills. These include your own good parenting skills and firm kindness, coupled with the skills gained in the foster parent training. However, it is important to remember that each child is an individual and, as such, no amount of personal background experience or training will cover every situation that may arise during resource parenting.
The role of the agency is to assist in decisions regarding the care of the child and to help you over those rough spots. The resource parents can help foster children reach their fullest potential by providing them a healthy home environment.
QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD ASK YOURSELF:
Will my lifestyle change if I become a resource parent? What goals do I have for life? What is important for me? Do I have the time and energy to care for a resource child? What age child will realistically be best for my family? Am I ready to give up some freedom, or arrange my lifestyle to include a child?
Spend more time at home, and socialize less?
Can I afford my own expenses, knowing that compensation for a resource child will be only enough for the child’s needs? How will a child fit into my neighborhood? How will being a resource parent change how I want to grow and develop? How much time am I willing to commit to a child? Am I willing/able to take a child to counseling, doctor’s appointments, court hearings and other regular appointments? Am I willing to attend counseling sessions with the child? Do I like doing things with children? Do I like activities that children could do also? Do I want a child to be “like me?” Should he/she call me Mom or Dad? How will I view a child’s different values and ideas? Will I attempt to get the child to accept my values? Do I want a boy or girl? How about brothers or sisters? Teens? What ages? Pregnant teen or new mom with baby? Do I want acceptance or gratitude from a resource child? Why do I really want to take a resource child into my home? Do I like children? Will I be able to put up with the noise and confusion? How do I deal with my own frustration and anger? How do I handle other people’s frustration and anger? How easy is it for me to tell others what I want or need or what I expect from them? How will I set my rules and enforce them? Am I able to give a child the love he/she needs? Is it easy for me to show love? What is discipline to me? Am I open to new ideas? What will I do if a child doesn’t cooperate with me, or refuses to follow my rules? Can I keep the information that I learn about a child confidential?
HOW DOES MY FAMILY FEEL ABOUT BEING A RESOURCE FAMILY?
Does my partner also want to share his/her life with a resource child? How about my own children? Have we discussed resourcing as a family? Are we secure and stable enough to add a resource child to our family? Will this cause undue stress? Are we both ready to give time and/or energy, or will one of us invest more in a child than the other?
Can we be a team? Could we share our love with a child without other family members getting jealous? How will a child fit into our religious life? Willing to allow child to pursue his/her beliefs, or choose not to attend church? How will my children/grandchildren accept another child? Will they share their room, toys, friends, and parents? How will I feel about a child being removed from my home? How do I feel about the child’s birth parents and the problems they may have? Am I able to understand that a child still loves his/her parents and that I should not interfere with this relationship. What does my family have to offer a child who needs a good, stable, loving home?
WHERE DO THE CHILDREN WHO NEED RESOURCE CARE COME FROM?
Sometimes, a result of abuse, neglect, abandonment, or death in a family, courts decide that children must be temporarily separated from their families.
These children come from all cultural and economic groups; but, in many communities, children of color are over-represented in the resource care system. They are normal kids. They just have not had normal lives.
WHO ARE THE CHILDREN IN RESOURCE CARE?
Children temporarily separated from their families due to abuse or neglect.
School aged children who need extra help in getting along with others, school work, and feeling good about themselves
Infants who have special feeding and medical problems.
Brothers and sisters who should stay together.
Children with developmental or physical disabilities.
Children with emotional problems.
Children who need families that are sensitive to and respectful of their culture.
Teenagers who have not experienced positive family life and now need extra patience and commitment.
HOW LONG IS “TEMPORARY”?
A child’s stay in resource care may be as short as overnight or as long as it takes to achieve a permanent plan for the child.
The first goal most often considered is to reunite the family if possible.
WHAT ARE THE REWARDS OF BECOMING A RESOURCE FAMILY?
Resource families can expect many rewards:
A sense of accomplishment.
The chance to help children feel good about themselves.
Pride in doing a meaningful and important job.
The opportunity to meet and work with new people.
A chance to use special talents and knowledge.
The opportunity to make a lifetime of difference for a child.
CAN I CHOOSE THE AGE, SEX AND ETHNICITY OF THE CHILD THAT I WOULD WANT?
Yes. Resource children range in age from infancy through adolescence (0-18 years old).
Resource families inform the agency of their desired age group and the sex and ethnicity of the child or children wanted.
MUST RESOURCE CHILDREN HAVE THEIR OWN BEDROOM?
No. But, children who are 5 years of age or older may not share the same bedroom with a member of opposite sex.
Infants may have their crib in with the resource parents until 2 years of age.
IS THERE REALLY A NEED FOR RESOURCE PARENTS?
Yes. The agency always tries to place resource children in their home school district and in resource homes that are best suited to meet their particular needs.
This cannot be achieved unless a sufficient number of resource parents are available. Fresno County has approximately 3,000 children in resource care alone.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR BECOMING A RESOURCE PARENT?
Must be 18 years of age. Possess a valid driver’s license and produce a DMV printout on a yearly basis.
Have a mechanically sound & safe vehicle and current insurance on the vehicle and on the home.
Must demonstrate financial and emotional stability and be able to meet the family’s financial obligations.
Must have Child Abuse Index, FBI and Department of Justice background clearances.
Must attend pre-orientation briefing and 16 hours of Prospective Resource Parent Training that is preceded by a home study.
Applicants may live in an apartment or house.
Every member of the household 18 years or older must be fingerprinted and complete a background check.
Must take a TB test and a Health Screen – a physician must determine physical and emotional ability to help children.
Agree not to use physical punishment.
Agree to take the child to all required appointments and not to change medications prescribed by a Physician.
THE SPECIAL NEED FOR RESOURCEING TEENS!
Teens – under any circumstances – can be challenging, but families who take pride in having raised well-adjusted teens of their own are ideal candidates to resource adolescents. Many resource families take in only teens.
They’re creative in finding ways to have fun with them and have flexible personalities and parenting styles that lead to mutual respect and ultimately successful, rewarding experiences. Many parents who currently have teens in their household find that accepting only teens not only benefits the resource children but results in their own children gaining valuable perspective and positive values.
ARE THERE DIFFERENT KINDS OF RESOURCE CARE?
Those who choose to become resource parents have many options. The goal is to provide the greatest opportunity to the widest number of people.
Traditional Resource Parenting: Certified resource families who provide a temporary home for children who case plans call for them to reunite with their biological families. Respite Care: Certified resource families who don’t have resource children in their home who are prepared to give other resource families a break overnight, on weekends or during vacations. Medically Fragile Children Resource Care: Certified resource families care for children with mild to severe medical conditions that require daily attention. Resource-To-Adopt: Certified resource families that are also approved for adoption, who may adopt a child with a very low probability of returning to their biological parents.