Housing Options For Parents In Foster Care
If you are pregnant and have decided to parent your baby, you will not necessarily have to move out of your foster home when the baby is born. It will depend on what you want and what your foster parent wants. If you want to stay in the foster home and your foster parent agrees, you can stay there during your pregnancy. If you want to continue staying there after you give birth and the foster parent agrees, the agency may need to file some paperwork to accommodate the request, so make sure you let your caseworker know.
Sometimes, a foster parent is not comfortable caring for a pregnant foster child or having a new baby in the home. Other times, young women choose to leave their foster homes when they are pregnant. In these cases, you can be placed in another foster home with a willing foster parent, or you can be placed in a special group home for pregnant young women in foster care, called a "Mother-Child" residence. These placements provide special services like medical care, daycare, parenting classes, and sometimes schooling. If you are interested in either of these options, talk to your attorney and/or your caseworker.
Currently, there are no options that permit both a mother and father to reside with their child while still in foster care. If both parents are 18 and wish to reside with their child, they should speak to their caseworkers and attorneys about family housing options.
As soon as you tell your caseworker about your pregnancy, your caseworker should schedule a Service Plan Review (SPR) or Family Team Conference (FTC) meeting to plan for your placement after you give birth.
If your child is placed with you in a foster home, the foster parent will receive additional money from
the agency for your child (the amount is the same as the funding the foster parent would receive if your baby was a foster child in the home).
Keep in mind that your foster parent has the choice of spending this money directly on your baby, or giving the money to you for you to spend on your child. Before you give birth, your foster care agency should hold a meeting where you discuss this and decide how these responsibilities will be shared.
Whoever has the money is responsible for paying for your child's necessities, including diapers (until your child is four years old), food or formula, clothing, and child care. The foster care agency must also provide funds for you to get a crib, a high chair, a stroller if necessary, and a car seat.