About Us: Debra Corn Foster Care is a licensed child placing agency founded in 1985 for the purpose of prevention of institutionalization of children. Debra Corn Foster Care offers solutions for those children who don’t have a place to call home. To date Debra Corn Foster Care has served over 2,500 children and licensed over 1,000 therapeutic foster families in Indiana.
What is the difference between foster care and adoption?
Foster care is often short term, while adoption is permanently making a child a part of your family. Children in foster care are either staying with you while their parents take necessary steps to be able to care for them again, are waiting to turn 18 and “age out” of the foster care system, or are waiting to be adopted. When you adopt a child, their natural parent’s rights have been terminated and they will permanently become a part of your family.
How much do I get paid?
Debra Corn Foster Care foster parents are paid on a monthly basis. The per diem varies based on the age and needs of each individual foster child.
What support services do I get?
You receive 24/7 emergency support from the Debra Corn Foster Care staff, in addition to regular home visits that are conducted several times a month. Often the children’s therapists, school teachers, or Department of Child Services Family Case Managers are also a source of support.
What do I have to do - transportation, meetings etc.?
You will meet with your Debra Corn Foster Care case manager several times a month, depending on the special needs of the child. You will also be required to take the children to and from regular doctors appointments, therapy sessions, and visitation with their natural families. Foster parents are also encouraged to participate in periodic court hearings and Child and Family Team Meetings where progress of the case is discussed.
How are the children's medical expenses paid for?
Medicaid covers most of the medical expenses for the children and the remainder is handled by the state of Indiana. Foster parents are not responsible for medical expenses.
Can I take them on vacation with me?
Most often, yes. You must get permission to take the child out-of-state.
What about respite?
Respite by another licensed foster family is available. Most foster parents utilize respite if they are going out of town and cannot take the foster child with them, or if the foster child’s behaviors are particularly difficult and the foster parent needs a “break”.
Do I have to work with the child’s parents?
If the child placed in your home has visits with their natural family, you will often interact with their natural parents at the beginning or end of the visit. It’s important to maintain a positive relationship with the natural families when you can, as it eases the transition for the foster child.
How long are they in foster care?
However, this can vary from just a few days to several years depending on the natural families circumstances and the foster child’s needs.
What happens when they leave foster care?
Foster children who leave foster care are either returning to their natural families, are being adopted, or are “aging out” of the foster care system. For those who are “aging out” of the system, they receive independent living training and services to facilitate a successful transition to adulthood.
Is it possible to adopt through fostering?
Yes, you can adopt children whose natural parents’ rights have been terminated. If the child’s natural parents’ rights have not been terminated, they are not available for adoption. Most families choose to adopt a foster child who has been living in their home. Adoption subsidies are decided by the state guidelines.
What kinds of problems do they have?
Children placed in therapeutic foster care can have a variety of difficulties, ranging from very mild to more severe. Many children are diagnosed with ADHD and/or depression. Some other common “problems” that children may have are physical disabilities, learning disabilities, reactive attachment disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, autism, substance abuse, or self harming behaviors. We do not place children in your home that you are not comfortable with, because we want the child to be successful in your home.
Can I take them to church with me?
You can take the children to church with you, providing that the children are willing to go. If the foster child is from a different religion or culture, it is important to honor the child’s background and provide the child opportunities to engage in their religious and/or cultural activities.
How long does it take to become a licensed foster parent?
Prospective foster parents must attend the 30 hours of training, complete CPR and First Aid training, have local and federal background checks, have a medical exam, and meet with the Licensing Coordinator several times in your home so that a home study can be written. The process depends upon the foster parents’ ability to complete the above requirements in a timely manner; optimal time frame is three months.
Once I am licensed, how soon will a child be placed in my/our home?
Children coming in to Debra Corn Foster Care are dependent on referrals from the Department of Child Services and Probation. Debra Corn Foster Care will assess each child’s circumstances to make appropriate matches with available foster families. The time it takes to place a child in your home is dependent on the referrals received and your own family’s unique circumstances.
Do they need their own room or can they share?
It is preferred that foster children have a bedroom separate from your own children’s rooms, but foster children of the same gender can share a bedroom depending upon age and behaviors. Each child requires 50 square feet of living space, own bed, closet space, and dresser space.
Do I need to pay for the foster parent classes and trainings?
No, training and education is free to families that are pursuing their foster care license. There may be special training events offered by other professionals that are specific to a certain diagnosis or disability, which you may choose to attend for additional training. Some of these trainings require registration fees.
How many children will I be able to foster?
This depends on the size of your home and other people currently living in your home. We want to ensure that each foster child placed in your home has adequate space.
What do I have to do if I am interested in becoming a foster parent?
You can contact us and set up an appointment with a member of our staff. We will inform you about our agency and answer any other questions you may have concerning fostering or the certification process. This meeting will in no way obligate you to become a foster parent.