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Lutheran Family Services of Virginia > Foster Care FAQs

Foster Care FAQs

Foster families come from different backgrounds and circumstances. They are people who have room in their hearts and homes and who have a desire to make a difference in the life of a child

Do I have to be Lutheran?

No, you do not need to have any religious affiliation. Children placed with you may be of any religious background, and we would expect all our families to support and respect the child’s religious beliefs.

Requirements to be a foster parent:

• 21 years of age or older
• Financially self-supporting
• Valid driver’s license
• Able to pass a criminal background check and child protective services check
• Physically able to care for a child
• Have personal references
• Have a safe space in your home for a child or children. This could be an apartment or a single-family home
• Have time in your life to spend and care for children
• You can be single, married, divorced, and/or widowed.

Do I receive financial support?

Foster parents receive monthly financial support from the state of Virginia. This amount varies depending on the needs of the child and is used for child-related costs such as food, clothing and housing. Foster children have their own medical and dental coverage.

What types of foster care does LFSVA offer?

Treatment Foster Care (TFC) — TFC programs offer specialized services to children in care who have special needs. These special needs may be emotional, behavioral or medical. The overall goal of TFC is generally reunification with the biological parents or a family member, although some children may become available for adoption.

Respite Foster Care — Respite is when one approved foster family temporarily cares for another family’s foster children. Respite allows a family and child to take a short break, which may range from a day up to several weeks.

Foster care to Adoption — Adoption occurs for children whose parents have lost their parental rights to the child. A child may become available after being placed in your home.

What about fostering or adopting an older child?

Lutheran Family Services of Virginia can assist you in fostering or adopting an older child from our foster care program. These children are usually 12 years of age or older, often in sibling groups, often of minority heritage and may have behavioral and emotional challenges.

What about adopting a child aged 1 to 5?

Typically, toddlers are not available through foster care. Occasionally a toddler is registered with the Adoption Resource Exchange of Virginia.  LFSVA does not approve families who are seeking infant adoptions or private adoptions.  We are happy to assist families looking for adoptive placements by referring to our partner agencies.

Is there training?

Lutheran Family Services of Virginia is proud of its training program, which lasts three to four weeks. Families also receive a comprehensive, user-friendly handbook with information, parenting tips and forms. Because we want parents to be as informed and prepared as possible, we require that they attend on-going training once they are certified. Call the LFSVA office nearest you for information on the next training session.

After I complete the training, am I able to get a child?

Parents must first have a home study. An LFSVA services worker will visit your home and interview you and your family. This is an in-depth process that determines if treatment foster care is a good fit for you.

How long does it take?

The process of becoming a foster parent varies for each individual and can take between three and six months. Some of this depends upon your readiness to become a foster or adoptive parent. We will work with you to create a time frame that works with your schedule.

How do I get started?

To receive updates and information about foster care, please complete the form below.


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