Foster Parenting FAQs

Becoming a foster parent is a big decision. At KVC Missouri, we can answer all of your questions and talk with you about the process. Below is a list of the questions we’re most commonly asked. Check them out and when you’re ready to talk more, fill out this form and our team will reach out to you soon, or call us at 844-424-3577.

General Questions About Foster Care

All families face challenges at times, and in some instances a wide range of factors can cause parents to become unable to care for their children. Missouri foster care provides a temporary arrangement for a child when they are not able to live with their biological parents or other natural caregivers. During this time, child welfare professionals work to find the best possible relative, foster family or other placement option for that child until they can safely return home or a permanency plan is identified.

Most of the children and teens in foster care have experienced child abuse or neglect in some capacity. Each state determines how physical, sexual and emotional abuse are defined, and youth enter foster care if it meets these criteria. Neglect can include physical neglect, medical neglect or lack of supervision. Physical neglect includes but is not limited to failure to provide the child with food, clothing or shelter necessary to sustain the life or health of the child.

Foster care is a temporary arrangement for children and teens when their parents or primary caregivers are going through crisis. When youth cannot remain safely in their homes and must enter foster care, the first goal is to safely reunite them with their families as soon as possible. While several factors can cause a child or teen to enter foster care, abuse and/or neglect are the most common reasons. When social workers and courts determine that a home is unsafe for a child, child welfare agencies work diligently with the family to resolve the conflicts or disruptions that led to the child needing foster care. Intensive, family-centered services are provided by social workers to make progress towards a safe, supportive family.

The children range in ages from birth to twenty-one years. Our teenage population has the greatest need for loving families at this time. We also have a need for families to care for sibling groups of three or more children.

The most common outcome for children in foster care is a safe reunification with their families. Nationwide, more than half of youth who enter foster care are safely reunified. The average length of time a child is in foster care is about a year, but much of this is dependent on how long it takes for the family to resolve their conflicts or disruptions and demonstrate that their home is safe for their child to return home.

Nationally, about 428,000 youth are in foster care. In Missouri, more than 13,000 youth are in foster care. As this number is increasing, the need for loving foster parents is greater than ever.

Volunteering is also an excellent way to help children in need. Volunteers can provide temporary care for children, help with fundraisers, organize events and much more. Click here to check some of our upcoming events near you. If you’re pressed for time, donating is also helpful. Donations don’t have to be monetary: school supplies, clothing, food and more are always needed.

General Questions About Becoming a Foster Parent

Foster parents provide safe and supportive homes for children and teens. Children come into foster care for many different reasons, all of which are not their fault. Foster parents need to provide care and love while keeping reunification in mind. Reunification is when a child can safely return to their birth family that has worked to stabilize their home.

There is a child or teen out there who needs someone just like you. Want to take the next step in making the world a brighter place for a child in need? Click here and a recruiter will contact you!


If you have the heart to help a child or teen, then you will be so good at this. You don’t need a house, spouse, certain level of income – all you need is a desire to make a difference, and we will support you every step of the way.

Here’s a list of questions to ask yourself when considering becoming a foster parent to a child in need. This questionnaire is intended to be a starting point and a tool for personal reflection or discussion with your family. It also highlights the core attitudes and behaviors that foster parents must demonstrate.

Fostering gives you the opportunity to make a lasting difference in a child’s life as well as give added purpose to your life. The temporary care you give will provide a safe and stable environment for a child experiencing crisis such as abuse, neglect or other family challenges.

Additional personal benefits:

You’ll Get to Be an Influential Teacher

Teaching is a great way to enrich the mind of a child. The trauma that caused a child to enter foster care, such as abuse or neglect, and the further trauma a child may experience when being removed from his or her birth family can have long-lasting psychological effects. Teaching ideas and skills you are familiar with can help redirect a child’s mindset to a more positive place.

You’ll Learn Something New Everyday

Who doesn’t like a little variety in their day? Foster parents seldom experience the same day twice. While this may be off-putting for some, it’s really a great thing! Foster parents get to interact with children and families from several different backgrounds. This opens the door to discovering new cultures, traditions and values.

You’ll Grow Stronger as an Individual

Giving unconditional love to a child in need can shape you into a stronger person emotionally and spiritually. Since most placements of children in a foster home are temporary, it can be very difficult to see a child return home. Though it can be heartbreaking, the main goal of foster care is to reunite a child with his or her family. The entire process of fostering, from taking a child in to seeing them go back home, can cause a natural range of emotions to swell. Experiencing and managing these emotions makes you an all-around stronger person who feels more meaning and satisfaction in life.

Want to take the next step? Click here and a recruiter will contact you!

The amount of time a foster family cares for a child in foster care varies from a few days to a couple years. On average, we safely reunite most children with their families within 12 months, and thus the child’s time in foster care is less than one year. More than half of children who enter foster care are safely reunited with their families. If reunification is not possible due to safety concerns, we will look for an adoptive family to provide continued care, love and stability for the child. It is common for children to be adopted by their foster parents because they have bonded, but every child’s situation is different.

Yes! Foster parents can specify the age, gender and number of children they are willing to care for and if they are able to care for a child with developmental and/or intellectual disabilities or other special needs. We call you and tell you more about the child’s needs, and you have the opportunity to decide whether you can provide care for that child.

Absolutely! There are no restrictions to fostering if you’re in a same-sex marriage/relationship or identify as LGBTQIA+. At KVC Missouri, we value diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging more than most foster agencies, so we make foster parenting open to everyone. Let’s change the face of foster care together.

It may, but the first goal for children in foster care is reunification with their biological family. When a child’s parental rights have been terminated and a child is legally free for adoption, 89 percent of the time children are adopted by their foster parents.

Want to take the next step? Click here and a recruiter will contact you!

Questions About Treatment Foster Care (TFC)

KVC Missouri provides Treatment Foster Care services in addition to general foster care services.

The TFC program provides individualized therapeutic interventions to children with significant medical, developmental, emotional, or behavioral needs who require a higher level of care. The program provides caregivers with additional supports to allow foster youth with elevated needs to be successful in a community-based family setting.

TFC may be used for children as an alternative to residential treatment, or for children who have received residential treatment services, but are ready to step down to a least restrictive, family setting – and are not able to return to a previous foster home or parental home.

The main goal of TFC is to provide children with elevated needs with least restrictive placements, in family settings, until they can be successful in a more traditional foster home setting. TFC foster placements are intended to be short-term, usually around six months. However, there may be times that the placement could be shorter or last much longer, depending on the availability of traditional foster homes for the child to step down to.

TFC parents are required to complete the approved 27 hours of pre-service training curriculum to become a licensed traditional foster parent prior to receiving the training to become a TFC foster home. The type of pre-service training depends on the county were you live. Some examples are: NTDC, Missouri STRONG and STARS. One of our KVC recruiters can help you to identify which pre-service training is required for your location.

An additional 27 hours of approved specialized training is required to become a TFC family. KVC’s TFC training program combines curriculum from Teen CORE and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), and is designed to prepare families to meet the day-to-day needs of children with elevated needs.

TFC foster parents are required to complete 10 hours of in-service training hours, in addition to the 30 hours of in-service training required for traditional foster home license renewal. In the state of Missouri, if families wish to renew their license, they go through that process every two years.

The additional 10 hours of in-service training for TFC families is tailored to the family and child’s current needs. The specific training needs of the TFC parent(s) shall be identified and selected by the TFC worker in consultation with the TFC parent(s).

The daily reimbursement for children placed in TFC homes is higher than that of general foster care, but dependent on the needs of the child.

Each of the children in the custody of the State of Missouri receives a medical card when they are removed from their family home. Some children are also covered under their family’s private insurance.

Do you have the heart to help a child? Say yes, and we will support you every step of the way. With our expertise, resources and longtime legacy of caring for children, we’re here to help you make the world a brighter place for a child in need. As a Treatment Foster Parent, you will receive these additional resources and support options:

  • Initial and ongoing training opportunities
  • Foster parent therapists and support groups
  • Mental health treatment for the children in your care from a KVC therapist or help connecting with community resources and support
  • Family Support Worker specifically designated to support and assist your family. These workers have smaller-than-traditional caseloads so that they are able to dedicate more time and energy to supporting Treatment Foster Care families.
  • An enhanced daily rate to support the youth in your care

Taking care of children with elevated needs can come with various challenges throughout the work day.  At times, children may need to be picked up early from school due to behavior or mental health needs.  They may also get suspended from school from time to time.  Because of their elevated level of need, it can sometimes be difficult to locate alternative childcare resources.  KVC will work with you to come up with a plan that works best for your family.

If you have any questions or are interested in learning more, click here and one of our recruiters will help you get set up in the next training class.