There are many wonderful children all across the state of Indiana who, through no fault of their own, have family situations that have become untenable or unsustainable. Whether their loved ones died, wound up in jail, surrendered their parental authority to the state or had their parental rights terminated due to allegations of neglect or abuse, children in group homes or foster care need responsible, compassionate adults to help them.

Taking in foster children can be a wonderful way to grow your family, either on a temporary basis as the parents work toward reunification or on a more permanent basis, possibly through the adoption of children previously placed as foster children in your home.

Working as a foster parent can benefit the children, you and even the state of Indiana. What are the requirements to become a foster parent in Indiana?

Indiana tries to make foster parenthood accessible to many

Many people worry that they aren’t old enough or wealthy enough to meet state requirements for foster placement in Indiana. However, the state is actually relatively lenient in its foster parent licensing requirements in order to encourage as many quality foster parents as possible to participate in the state program.

Potential foster parents only need to be 21 years of age and able to pass a background check. This will include fingerprinting and a national, not state, search. Foster parents must be financially stable and typically have to complete special training. They also need to have a home with space for the child(ren) and transportation.

Are you ready for the emotional demands of foster child placement?

Opening your home to children in need of foster placement can be a beautiful and rewarding experience that can benefit not only the children but also you. However, fostering children can also be very difficult.

Children going through drastic changes in upheaval may experience intense feelings, ranging from destructive rage to intense depression. It may take some time for you to develop a rapport with the children and earn their trust.

Still, your ongoing dedication and support will remind those children of their value and help provide them with the foundation for growth as they move on from the trauma they have experienced so far in life.