Foster Parent FAQs

Foster Parenting

Our most asked questions about becoming a foster parent to youth in the Nebraska foster care system.

The need for foster parents continues to grow each year and at any time there are more than 6,000 children in foster care in Nebraska. KVC works to find loving families to care for youth who have experienced abuse, neglect or other serious family challenges until they can safely reunite with their biological family or are adopted by a forever family.

The children range in age from birth to 18 years old. The greatest need is for families willing to care for children ages 11 and older. We also have a need for more families to care for sibling groups of two or more children.

First, we recommend that you read all of the information provided in this FAQ and download our free guide, 6 Steps to Becoming a Foster Parent, for details about the process. These resources can help you decide if foster parenting is right for you. Once you are ready to move forward, please complete this form and our Foster Care Recruitment Coordinator, Becki Schindler, will reach out to you to schedule a meeting and answer any additional questions you have.

You can also take a look at our blog for more information on becoming a foster parent and stories from real KVC foster families.

Nope. You must be at least 21 years old with a valid driver’s license and/or reliable transportation. We are looking for loving, caring adults who want to make a positive impact in a child’s life and provide a safe environment. You can be single, married, any sexual orientation, a homeowner or apartment renter. For homes with one licensed foster parent, a max of four children may reside in the home and no more than two children can be under the age of six. For homes with two licensed foster parents, a max of six children may reside in the home and no more than four children can be under age six. Biological children are included in these ratios.

You must be able to meet basic income guidelines and everyone living in your home must undergo a background check. You will also need to meet all the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services licensing regulations and complete the required foster parent training program. If you are married, both partners must complete training and we encourage anybody else living in the home that plans to have a caregiver role.

If you have a criminal history or history of child abuse and/or neglect, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services will determine if your criminal history allows or prohibits licensure. If you have been convicted of a felony involving abuse and/or neglect of a child, spousal abuse, a crime against a child/children, or a crime of violence you are ineligible to provide foster care. A person who is identified as a perpetrator on the Central Registry or equivalent in any state is ineligible to provide foster care.

If you have been convicted of a felony involving physical assault, battery, or a drug-related offense, you are ineligible to provide foster care for five years after the date of conviction. Any other criminal charges, including driving under the influence (DUI) or misdemeanors in the past five years, will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. If you have been convicted of a crime or crimes that do(es) not otherwise result in ineligibility, then the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services will review the facts and circumstances of the conviction(s) to determine whether you are eligible to provide foster care.

Yes. KVC’s Admissions Department will contact you to request placement of a child in your home, and this is an opportunity for you to ask questions and find out more about the child or children. You may say “No” to a placement for any reason.

If a child in foster care is placed in your home, KVC Nebraska will reimburse you. The reimbursement rate varies and is determined on a case-by-case basis. Reimbursement is paid bi-monthly via direct deposit and meant to subsidize for the care of the child. Each child in the custody of the State of Nebraska will be covered under Medicaid or their family’s private insurance. If a foster family works and requires childcare, their childcare might be covered under Title XX.

We require our foster parents to become actively involved in the work that is done to help a child safely reunify with their birth family. This might involve contact with the family during parent-child visitations, case planning meetings, school meetings and events, court hearings, and many other instances if it is in the best interest of the child and foster family. This topic is covered in more detail during foster parent training. It’s also now a requirement that foster parents make phone contact with the biological parent within 24 hours of a child being placed in their home to let them know their child is with them and in a safe place (unless otherwise directed by the caseworker).

Each foster parent has an assigned Foster Care Specialist that will assist with day-to-day questions and emergencies. We are available 24/7 by phone to assist with non-medical emergencies.

The immediate goal for each child is to reintegrate them into a safe and stable environment with their birth family. The child’s placement in foster care depends on the progress their birth parent(s) makes with the case plan.

Confidentiality laws prohibit us from releasing further information about the child after they leave your care. If the child is subsequently placed in another foster care setting, it is left to the case manager’s discretion as to whether continued contact is in the child’s best interest. If the child is reintegrated with their birth family or adopted, this decision the to the child’s birth or adoptive parent(s).

KVC offers monthly trainings, provides information about community resources. KVC would not be able to provide all these resources without donations from the community. To learn how you can help support foster parents in your community, click here!

Continue reading through to the next section of this FAQ for more information on foster parent training and visit our foster parent training web page.

If you complete all required trainings, application paperwork, and the home study in a timely manner, you could potentially receive a license to take placement within 30 to 60 days of your application submission to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

Foster Parent Training Requirements

Our most asked questions about the training requirements to become a foster parent to youth in the Nebraska foster care system.

The state of Nebraska requires all potential foster homes to complete a pre-service training called Trauma-Informed Partnering for Safety and Permanency – Model Approach for Partnerships in Parenting (TIPS-MAPP). TIPS-MAPP class is held one time per week for 10 weeks. Each class is mandatory for all adults that will have a parenting role in a foster home. Throughout the course of training, our class leaders will also come to your home to complete home consultations.

Our training classes are FREE and new classes start in Omaha and Lincoln every 4-6 weeks.

You can also take a look at our blog for more information on foster parent training and stories from real KVC foster families.

TIPS-MAPP class helps build skills for parenting abused and neglected children who have behavioral, emotional, physical and/or educational difficulties. It also helps the participant decide if fostering is right for them and KVC determine if you are able to meet a child’s needs.

All TIPS-MAPP classes are mandatory, although we understand that unforeseen circumstances could potentially arise. Your co-leaders will determine the best way for you to make up the information that you missed, which might include having you make up the class during another TIPS-MAPP session.

Yes. Before you are eligible to receive a foster care license, you will be required to complete Universal Precautions, Verbal de-escalation, Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standards, Healthy Sexual Boundaries and Human Trafficking Prevention. Once you become a licensed foster parent, you will be required to complete continuing education hours. You will be required to complete 12 hours each year. These hours are to be completed prior to renewing your foster care license each year.

KVC offers numerous free trainings throughout the year to make it simple and convenient for foster parents to complete these training hours.

It is recommended to wait to take the TIPS MAPP course if you are not prepared to become licensed within one year.

No. KVC cannot guarantee placement of foster children. There are many children of all ages waiting for foster homes. KVC works to match the needs of the children with the skills, abilities, and preferences of the foster family. To read more about this matching process, read our blog “How Foster Families Are Matched with Youth and Why It Matters.”