How many children and what type of children has the agency placed in the past few years?
The number of children requiring out-of-home care continues to increase each year. At any given time, Clermont County has over 300 children in care.
What is meant by children with “special needs”?
A child who, prior to adoptive placement, has at least one of the following needs or circumstances that may be a barrier to a child being sustained in an adoptive home without financial assistance because the child:
- Is a member of a sibling group who should be placed together.
- Is a member of a minority or ethnic group.
- Has remained in the permanent custody of a Public Children’s Services Agency (PCSA) or a Private Child Placing Agency (PCPA) for more than one year.
- Has a medical condition, physical impairment, mental retardation or developemental disability.
- Has an emotional disturbance or behavioral challenge.
- Has a social or medical history or the background of the child’s biological family has a social or medical history which may place the child at risk of acquiring a medical condition, a physical, mental or developmental disability or an emotional disorder.
- Has been in the home of his/her prospective adoptive parent(s) as a foster child for at least one year and would experience severe separation and loss if placed in another setting due to his/her significant emotional ties with the foster parent(s) as determined and documented by a qualified mental health professional.
- Has experienced previous adoption disruption or multiple placements.
What are the qualifications to become a foster or adoptive parent?
You may be married, single or divorced
You may have other children
You must be at least 18 years old to adopt, or at least 21 years old to foster
You may own or rent your house or apartment, but you must have adequate space available
You will receive training to help you parent children who have been separated from their birth families
You and your assessor will determine your parenting strengths during a homestudy
As a foster parent, you will receive a per diem to assist with the child’s daily living expenses
As an adoptive parent you may receive subsidies
Can you be a foster parent if you work outside the home?
Yes. In fact, the majority of foster families in Clermont County work outside the home.
What kind of assistance does the agency provide to foster parents in caring for children?
Foster parents receive a monthly reimbursement check to assist with the routine costs of providing for the needs of a foster child. Medicaid coverage is provided to children in the custody of the agency to cover medical and dental expenses. Foster parents are eligible to request mileage reimbursement when transporting children to approved appointments such as visitations with the birth family, medical appointments and counseling sessions. Reimbursement for child care expenses may also be available.
How many foster children can I receive in my home?
During the first two years, certified foster parents may take placement of up to three children. After two years of service, foster parents may take placement of up to five children. (The maximum number of children that can reside in a foster home is ten, which includes the foster parent’s own children.)
Can a foster/adoptive parent request age and sex of a child?
During the home study process, applicants are encouraged to carefully consider age and gender as well as other characteristics of the children they would like to receive into their home.
Can I be a foster/adoptive parent if I have a criminal record?
Possibly. Each situation would be reviewed. If it is found that the person’s criminal record meets the rehabilitation requirements set forth in the Ohio Administrative Code, consideration can be given. Everyone 18 years of age and older must have a criminal background check.
How long does the homestudy process take?
Generally, the process takes about 6 months from the time the application is received. This process includes 36 hours of Pre-Service Training, as well as in-depth discussions between the assessor and the family.
Is there a fee to become a foster/adoptive parent of a special needs child?
No. However, there are minimal costs associated with the legalization of an adoption of a child in the permanent custody of a public children’s services agency. Adoption subsidies may be available to help offset these expenses.
Do I have to live in Clermont County to become a Clermont County foster/adoptive parent?
The Department works with families who live in Clermont as well as families who reside in neighboring counties.
What is involved in the legalization of an adoption?
Legalizing an adoption involves a short hearing at Probate Court during which adoptive parents are granted permanent legal custody of their adopted child. This legislative process finalizes the parent child relationship that is created. In the State of Ohio, legalization of an adoption can occur after a child has resided with their adoptive family for a minimum of six months.
What types of services and resources are available to adoptive parents?
A variety of formal and informal services are available to members of the adoptive family, either as a group or as individuals. Support groups, counseling, respite care, medical services, educational resources, and a variety of community resources may be available to help meet ongoing needs or new needs that may have surfaced after the adoption finalization. Although types and locations of adoption services vary over time, adoptive families may always contact the Department for assistance in locating adoption services. Several types of financial subsidies may be available to assist families in meeting the special needs of their adopted child/children.
Is there information available on children available for adoption in the State of Ohio?
Prospective adoptive families are encouraged to regularly view the Ohio Adoption Photo Listing (OAPL) located on-line at the AdoptOHIO Kids web site at: http://adoptionphotolistingohio.org/about_us.php. The web site contains pictures and descriptions of waiting children in the custody of public children’s service agencies throughout Ohio. The descriptions of the children are supplied by the child’s social worker and are intentionally brief. A more detailed description of the child is available to prospective adoptive families who have completed the homestudy process from the child’s social worker. There are approximately 2,500 children listed on the OAPL website. Families interested in adoption are strongly encouraged to read the narratives and look at the pictures of children found within the Photo Listing to gain an understanding of the types of children available for adoption in Ohio.