In the state of Nebraska, there are approximately 3,545 children in foster care. Many of these children have experienced abuse, neglect or other family challenges and need a safe, loving home. KVC Nebraska Recruitment Coordinators recruit, train and support foster families who can care for children until they can either safely return home or another permanency plan can be determined.
Watch this short video to meet our recruiters and learn about the need for foster parents!
Makayla Schippert is a Recruitment Coordinator with KVC Nebraska who recruits foster families and guides them through the licensing process. She gets asked a lot of questions about the steps to become a foster parent in Nebraska, so she’s sharing answers to commonly asked questions below:
Q: Who be a foster parent?
Makayla Schippert: People from all types of backgrounds can become a foster or adoptive parent in Nebraska. We have foster families who are single, married, live in a house, live in an apartment, have children of their own, don’t have any children and come from all different walks of life. The state requirements for fostering a child or teen include:
- Be at least 21 years of age
- Be able to meet basic income guidelines
- Have a valid driver’s license and/or reliable transportation
- Be willing for everyone in your household to undergo complete background checks
- Complete the TIPS-MAPP foster parent training program
- Meet all DHHS licensing regulations
Q: What is the required training like?
Schippert: KVC Nebraska uses the approved pre-service training that the State of Nebraska implemented to prepare you to best support the children that might be placed in your home. The training courses will typically take 10 weeks to complete. The training is free of charge and designed to build the strengths and skills needed for parenting children who have experienced abuse and neglect and who may have behavioral, emotional, physical, or educational challenges. All caregivers residing in the home (age 21 years and older) who will participate in the parenting and care of children are required to take TIPS-MAPP together. If you have biological children in your home, they do not need to attend the meetings, however, they may be invited to attend a class. Sign up for a class in your area by contacting me to get started.
TIPS-MAPP stands for Trauma-Informed Partnering for Safety and Permanence-Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting. This training helps you to understand how to meet the developmental and safety needs of the children, work in partnership with the child’s biological family and support the child returning safely home. TIPS-MAPP is held at the KVC Nebraska offices and is designed to train a large group of potential foster parents. It’s a great way to learn together and build a support network of other foster families to help you through your journey.
Q: What happens after training is completed?
Schippert: After pre-service training is completed, a Licensing Specialist will be assigned to help you and will visit your home to do a walk-through and complete the licensing process. After the licensing process is approved, you will receive your license and be eligible to accept your first placement of a child or youth in need of care. We have a team of compassionate Foster Care Specialists who assist in any crisis situations and offer support when a child is in your home. A Foster Care Specialist will be assigned to your home and will visit with you and the youth in your home at least one time per month, depending on the needs of the child or youth placed in your home, and is always available by phone for any support.
Q: If I have pets, can I still become a foster or adoptive parent?
Schippert:: Yes, as long as all the pets in the home are up to date with their vet records and licensing, if applicable.
Q: I was in foster care when I was younger. Can I become a foster parent?
Schippert: Absolutely! Anyone can be a foster parent who meets the required guidelines.
Q: I completed foster care licensing years ago. Do I need to go through the training again?
Schippert: If you previously completed the TIPS-MAPP training and do not currently hold a license, you will need to complete the training again. Contact me for more details.
Q: I have a minor crime on my record from years ago. Can I still foster?
Schippert: That is case specific and depends on the crime. No crimes involving a person or certain felony convictions can be on your record if you wish to foster.
Q: What is the greatest need for foster care?
Schippert: We are looking for families that are willing to commit to caring for:
- Children over the age of 13
- Children who are part of a sibling group
- Children who have moderate/severe physical, medical, emotional, behavioral and or educational needs
Q: I am only interested in fostering with the goal of reuniting children safely with their birth family. Will that stop me from becoming a foster parent?
Schippert: Our first goal is to safely reunite children with their family whenever possible. Because of the teamwork between foster families, biological families, and KVC staff, nearly 60% of children in foster care will be safely reunified with their parents or primary caregivers.