My First Meeting with CAS

I had my first meeting with the local Children’s Aid Society (CAS) to go over my interest in becoming a Foster Parent. I will be honest, this might be a bit of a boring post because it is just information gathered… but for anyone looking into the process, I hope this helps!

A Social Worker came to my house to meet to answer questions and go over the application process with me. I received a lot of information and found out more about what I am in for over the next 6-8 months. The meeting was scheduled for a one hour block; we ended up talking for about 45 minutes.

Some of the items we discussed:

  • How long with the application process take?
    • She it explained it usually takes about six months from the time you start training
      • There is the initial meeting (this one),
      • Training sessions, and
      • Home Study visits (3 or 4 visits to your home to go over everything – home and life)
  • What training is involved?
    • I have to attend P.R.I.D.E training (Parent Resource for Information, Development and Education)
    • There are 9 Classes to attend. I received a schedule of the upcoming training groups so I can apply to the one that will fit my schedule the best. I am choosing a Tuesday Evening Group that starts September 29, 2015. My last night of training is December 1, 2015.
  • Is it okay that I am a single parent?
    • Yes!
    • The only stipulation is that you must be separated for at least one year. In September it will be one year, so I am good to go!
    • What I didn’t ask is what happens if I decide to start dating and if that will affect me having placements… it didn’t even occur to me since I am not in that place yet and am choosing to focus on the family, but now looking back I probably should have asked, just in case!
  • Is it okay that I have pets?  I have a 12 year old cat and an eleven month old puppy. I was worried the puppy may be an issue, but there is no issue at all! She mentioned about 90% of their Foster homes have pets. (phew!) The only thing it affects is if there is a child with allergies to animals they would be placed in a pet-free home.
  • Application Requirements / Policies to Agree to before Applying
    • I can not smoke (no problem!)
    • I can not own a Pit Bull (because there is a ban). Not an issue as we have a lab/collie mix.
    • If I have a pool or trampoline I have to follow their policies for safety.
      • I have a trampoline, so I asked more about that. I just have to always have the netting up around it.
    • I have to be financially stable. There is full financial reporting portion of the application I had to fill out which outlines my income and expenses as well as assets and insurance coverage.  I do have debt, but I have a decent income to offset my expenses, so I should be good in this area as well. You have to fill out your monthly budget, which was easy since I already have one. I am sure they will have questions about my budget but assume that is something talked about in more detail later in the process.
  • Foster Parent Payments / Items Covered by CAS
    • The rate paid for each child is about $30/day ($900/month). This goes towards the extra groceries and utilities being consumed.
    • In addition to the rate paid per child there are allowances for clothing, sports and other items. This includes extras for Back to School, Christmas, etc.
    • Foster Parenting is not an income, is not taxed, and should never be considered income for any type of forms.
      • My note on this: if you are doing it for the money, you are in it for the wrong reasons!

Those were the main points of our meeting. Next, I wait. I wait to hear if my application has been accepted and if I have been approved to attend P.R.I.D.E. training in September!

I will be posting updates and experiences as I go and between now and training I will get more into why I am choosing to Foster and about speaking with my children and ex-husband about the process.

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