Foster Family FAQ

Who are the children served by Shelter, Inc.?

Shelter has licensed, private homes located throughout the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago, that provide foster care to children from birth through age 17.  Children cared for in our foster homes are primarily from the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago.

Who refers children to Shelter, Inc.?

Anyone can refer children to Shelter, including:

  • Illinois Department of Children and Family Services
  • Police departments
  • Parents
  • Clergy
  • Concerned citizens
  • Adolescents (self-referrals)
  • Social service agencies
  • School or medical staff

How can we help?

Shelter needs foster families to provide emergency and traditional foster care to children.  By sharing your home, you can provide care when parents are unable to do so because of illness, family stress, financial inability or natural disasters.

How do we become Foster Parents?

Call 847-590-6190 ext. 35 for information.  Shelter’s Licensing Specialist will mail you an application.  After this application is completed and returned, the Licensing Specialist meets with potential foster parents during an orientation session to discuss Shelter’s programs, what the agency expects of them and what the family can expect of the agency.

At the conclusion of the orientation meeting, foster parents may be referred to Foster Pride Training classes.  Following this, the Licensing Specialist will do a home study.

Upon completion of the home study, Shelter recommends the home for licensing. A foster home license is valid for a period of four years.

What is a home study?

A home study is a series of visits between the Shelter Licensing Specialist and the members of your family to become better acquainted and to mutually decide whether your and your family can meet the needs of a child requiring foster care.  A home study is a requirement of becoming a licensed foster family.

What if we decide that foster parenting isn’t for us?

Foster family applicants may withdraw their application from consideration at any time.

Once we become a foster family, do we have to accept a child?

The family is called in advance with information about the child and why the child needs foster care. This information will assist the family to determine if they can meet the needs of the child.

How long will a child be placed in our home?

The length of stay in your home depends upon the needs of the child.

How will be reimbursed for expenses?

Shelter will issue a monthly check that will cover the room and board expenses of the child.  This monthly amount will vary depending on the age(s) of the child(ren).  Medicaid cards will be issued to eligible children to cover medical and prescription expenses.

What are the basic requirements for being a licensed foster parent?

Following are just some of the general guidelines for interested families:

For potential foster families:

  • Applicants must be willing and able to assume appropriate responsibilities for the child or children received for care.
  • Applicants must be stable, law abiding, responsible, mature individuals of at least 21 years of age.
  • The family must have sufficient financial resources to provide basic necessities for themselves, their own children and Shelter’s foster children.
  • Applicants must authorize criminal background checks and submit to fingerprinting.
  • Applicants must complete Foster Pride Training classes.
  • A medical examination for each member of the household is required.

Foster home guidelines:

  • The home must be clean, well ventilated, free from observable hazards, properly lighted and heated and free of fire hazards.
  • The water supply for the home must comply with the requirements of the local and state health departments.
  • The home must have an operating telephone on the premises, or there must be unrestricted access to a telephone.
  • Each child must be provided with his or her own separate bed or crib.
  • Children over six years of age cannot share a room with persons of the opposite sex.

Share This