The next step is to match us with a child to foster. We are interested in adopting a child, so we are interested in finding a child whose parents rights have been terminated and is eligible for adoption. We also have certain preferences about the child. As I said earlier, we want a child who has a good chance of living on their own and being a contributing member of society with the help of our nurturing as they grow up. We did not care about the child's race or ethnicity, sexual orientation, or gender identity, and in fact I told the social worker that we would be a good family for a GLBT child.
She has found a child that may be a good fit for our family. As I said, I can't say anything about the child due to privacy issues, but I can tell you how the process is going to work.
Resource parents (foster parents) get two weekends a month free from doing foster care. During that time the child goes to another household for respite care. So, first we will be the respite care providers for this child for a while. Then, if that goes well, the child will transition to living with us as our foster child. And if that goes well, then after six months we will be allowed to adopt the child (with the child's permission if the child is above a certain age). Adoption will not be mentioned to the child until that last step, because we don't want to get the child's hopes up in case it doesn't work out.
There are other types of fostering that other foster parents do. As I mentioned, there is respite care, where you care for different children on the weekend so the regular week resource parents can get a break. There are also step-down resource families, who care for a child for a period of approximately six months, as the child transitions from a group home environment back to their family. And then there are emergency care resource parents, who take in children who have just been removed from their homes and are in need of a place to stay immediately. We considered doing the step-down program until an adoptable child came along, because the percentage of children in the foster care system who are adoptable is actually pretty low. But it seems like there is currently a child who might be a good fit in our family, so we are going to pursue that child.