BEYOND the need for foster and adoptive parents
Every child deserves to have happiness within reach. But not all Nebraska children wake up with hopeful anticipation of the future. Their families are struggling with mental illness, poverty, abuse, addiction and more.
You know that a safe family is the secure launch pad for children’s future. You know that family is essential. You desire to love others the way Christ has loved you and worship Him through caring for those who are vulnerable. The love and care you have for children, especially those in need of a parent or a safe place to be for a while, burns within you. You feel a calling to adopt or be a short-term family for a child.
Foster care might be the right next step for you.
Foster care is more about giving your family to a child and less about getting a child for your family.
– Jason Johnson
Providing care for children without families is rooted in a calling to be the hands and feet of Christ in the world by leaving your own comfort for the sake of those who need love, joy and hope of Christ the most. Just as God is a father to the fatherless, as a Christ-follower, you offer vulnerable children unconditional love and acceptance, no matter what, at all cost. Foster care will not be easy. In fact, most often when something is said to be hard, that really means it is worth the effort.
Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. Ephesians 5:2 (NLT)
Why Be A Foster Parent?
There should be more families waiting for children than children waiting for families. In Nebraska, there are over 4000 children in the foster care system on any given day. In Compass’ service area there are over 500 children who have been removed from their family’s home due to abuse or neglect. Because there are not enough foster families, these children are often moved away from their own communities to foster homes hours away.
By 2030, Compass aims to have 150 licensed foster homes. Beyond the need for foster homes means children will be placed in a foster family that best fits their needs.
We know that being a foster or adoptive parent is challenging. That is what makes it worth doing!
We are committed to providing you with resources and support BEYOND your imagination so that you can help bring joy and peace within reach of children in need of a safe and loving home.
Support compass provides to help children and families navigate foster care:
- Free initial training for licensed foster families
- Free on-going training for foster families
- Facebook group for foster parents
- Foster parent mentoring program
- Monthly Kids Night Out (for foster, adoptive and biological children)
- Super Wyatt Packs
- Activity Scholarships
- Adulting 101 class for teens
- Bi-monthly visits from your Foster Care Specialist
- Assistance with transportation and finding respite
- Opportunity for therapy sessions with a Compass therapist
- Summer Picnic
- Christmas Party
- Discharge care plan when foster children leave your home
- Other supports as needed
COMPASS FOSTER CARE ROADMAP
Navigate through to see the steps on your journey toward becoming a foster parent!
Frequently Asked Questions
- Volunteer at Foster Parent Night Out.
- Providing respite for current foster families.
- Learn as much as you can about foster care and trauma.
- Join foster parenting groups on Facebook.
- Check out our resources page.
In general, single-parent homes can have up to four children (including biological). Two-parent homes can have up to six children. There are other limitations based on the ages of children and space in the home.
The biggest need for foster care is teenagers and sibling groups of two or more. Most of the children placed with Compass are between the ages of 4-9, however we receive the most referrals for teenagers.
Basic requirements (Check with your licensing specialist for more details):
- Each person has a place to sleep and a place to store their things.
- Every bedroom has at least 35 square feet per person.
- Sleeping levels of the home must have two exits.
- Ammunition and guns must be locked and stored separately.
- Medication and cleaning products must be stored away from the reach of children.
- Everyone 13 years and older in the home must pass background checks.
- Your income must be sufficient to provide for normal bills in the home.
The goal of foster care is always reunification with the biological parent. Reunification occurs about 60% of the time. There are children available for adoption listed on the Nebraska Heart Gallery. We have supported the adoption of over 100 children into Compass homes, but we cannot emphasize enough that the goal is for the child to be reunified with their biological family when it is safe to do so.
Your most important role is to provide care and nurture to the child, and our role is to support you in that job. As a part of that role, you will need to support the biological family through communication and being a support to them to the extent that you are able. This looks differently for each family and each case, and we can help you navigate that. You will take children to necessary appointments, attend team meetings and complete the required documentation as necessary for each child (such as medication reports and doctor reports, etc.)
Yes. There is a daily rate that is provided to you for providing foster care or respite services. This rate is dependent upon a survey called the Nebraska Caregiver’s Report (NCR). When a child is placed, and every six months, the caseworker will review criteria which helps determine the daily rate. The stipend is intended to provide for the needs of the child. It is not considered income.
If the parent(s) in the home work, the child is eligible for state funded child care. Your worker will help you fill out paperwork for this and find a daycare.
Children in foster care qualify for Medicaid and there is no copay. You will not be required to pay out of pocket for medical expenses. Any medical appointments should be coordinated and communicated with the team, and especially your Compass worker, to ensure that the provider accepts Medicaid.
Ready to join
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.