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What is Foster Care and Why is it Needed?


Foster care is a safe place to be if a child cannot live with his/her family or on their own. Children enter foster care because of neglect, abuse, a family crisis, or the child's acting out at home. Foster parents help children grow and feel good again by providing them with stability, affection, consistency, and nurturing.

Foster care is temporary; it is not meant to be forever. Children usually continue to visit their own families until they may be reunited. While the child is out of the home, Social Services is working to provide services so that the child can return to his parents.

If this is not possible, family members and other persons important to the child are contacted to see if they can give a permanent home to the child. Sometimes foster families are asked to provide permanent foster care or to adopt the child in their care. 


Foster care for adults assists men and women, 18 years of age and older, who are unable to live alone, and wish to share in a family lifestyle. They are emotionally, physically, or mentally dependent, or frail elderly. Adults in care may be able to attend school, work, or day programs.

As an adult foster care provider, it is your responsibility to provide a home-like setting, care, support, and companionship, and to provide the opportunity for people to do for themselves as long as possible while remaining in the community. Foster families may request a certain gender, age, and anticipated duration of placement. What is most important is that the family is able to provide a safe, nurturing environment and be able to work with the staff and family, as well as the person in their care.