Foster care is temporary care for children who are in the legal custody of a public children services agency (PCSA). The PCSA contracts with NOAS for the provision of foster care services. NOAS provides both family level and treatment level foster care. These two types of foster care are defined and regulated by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS).
Family Level Foster Care
Most new NOAS foster parents will qualify to be family level foster caregivers. This level is intended for children whose behaviors are moderate to mildly challenging. Family level foster parents are required by the ODJFS to complete 40 hours of training every two years after the completion of the initial pre-service training. 60 hours of training are required every two years.
Treatment Level Foster Care
To become treatment level foster parents, the foster parents must have significant experience in caring for children with special needs. You will learn about these requirements during the pre-service classes and during the family assessment. Treatment Level foster parents have extensive involvement in their foster child’s treatment plan, counseling, and education. They provide therapeutic interventions in the home and have increased requirements for on-going education. Treatment level foster parents are part of a team of professionals that includes NOAS staff, PCSA staff, mental health counselors and others.
Regardless of the level of care, both the PCSA and NOAS have the goal of permanency in mind. This means the serious pursuit of an exit strategy from the foster care system. For many of the children NOAS serves, the permanency is achieved by adoption; for other children, NOAS staff and foster parents are focused on reunifying the child with his or her birth family.
To get started, potential foster parents attend education groups which are referred to as pre-service classes. The classes are geared to help parents decide if foster care is right for them. NOAS licenses all families for both foster care and adoption. Click Here for a list of upcoming classes.
Family Assessment (Home Study)
Working with NOAS Permanency Planning Specialists, prospective foster parents will focus on assessing their own skills and deciding what type of child(ren) who will be right for them. There will be ample time for questions. Generally involving 3-5 home visits, individual interviews with each household member is part of the family assessment process. Generally, a family assessment is completed within 4-5 months after the receipt of the family’s application. The assessment needs to be updated every two years.
Foster parents are paid a daily rate (per-diem board rate) for children placed in their homes. The rates are different for family level and treatment level care. It is intended to help offset the costs of caring for the child. NOAS offers a competitive per-diem rate.
NOAS social workers provide a high level of support to our foster care families and the children in their care. We offer 24 hour agency access for emergencies.
Children placed with NOAS foster families attend school and receive services in the community where the foster family resides. We encourage children in NOAS foster care to participate in community, school, recreational, and cultural activities.
NOAS foster parents are expected to demonstrate consideration for, and sensitivity to, the racial, cultural, ethnic, and religious backgrounds of foster children.
NOAS teaches behavior management methods that stress praise and encouragement for desired behavior rather than punishment. It is expected that each foster child will be treated with kindness, consistency, and respect. Discipline is defined more in depth in the Foster Care Policy Statement.
NOAS foster families live within a 90 minute driving distance from our Warren office.
The NOAS “Foster Care Policy Statement,” “Statement of Philosophy and Adoption Policy,” and “Ohio Adoption Guide” will be given to parents during the education classes.