Foster Care

AGAPE's foster families are called to minister to parents and children involved with the Alabama Department of Human Resources [DHR].

Our families provide safe, loving homes for children and work in partnership to reunify children with biological parents when possible. 

 

The Need

Children in foster care need families who can see their preciousness and meet the deep need expressed through their behavior.

Children ages five and up and sibling groups are especially in need of loving and  committed parents.

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Our Services

AGAPE provides therapeutic services in the homes of each of our foster parents.  Trust-Based Relational Intervention [TBRI] and Attachment and Bio-Behavioral Catch-Up [ABC] are used to address attachment issues faced by children from hard places. 

AGAPE has four TBRI Practitioners and one ABC Parent Coach on staff. 

Questions & Answers

What training is required to become a foster parent?


Every foster parent attends a class called TIPS-MAPP, Trauma Informed Partnering for Safety and Permanence - Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting. This 10 week class meets one evening each week. This training is offered by AGAPE once a year, typically in the spring. AGAPE's foster parents are required to read The Connected Child and complete the Created to Connect study guide.




How much does it cost to become a foster parent?


AGAPE foster families are responsible for the cost of their medical examinations, the Prepare/Enrich Inventory [$35 per couple], and Criminal History Clearances [$48.85 per household member age 19 and older] prior to being licensed.




How is fostering with AGAPE different than fostering with DHR?


AGAPE is a Christian agency that approaches foster care with a ministry mindset. We offer wrap-around services for foster families that work in partnership with DHR. Foster children are all in the custody of DHR. AGAPE's families recieve placements from the northern 22 counties of Alabama. AGAPE foster families receive additional support, including: therapeutic in-home services, Christmas sponsorships, an annual weekend retreat, training opportunities, Parents' Nights Out, and on-going support. An AGAPE worker is assigned to your family and works as an advocate to meet your family's needs.




Can I become a foster parent if I am single? Are there marriage requirements?


Foster parents may be single [never married, legally divorced, widowed] or married. AGAPE requires their foster parents to have been married for 2 years. If an applicant is separated at the time of application they must have lived apart continuously for a minimum of 1 year with no intent to reconcile. The separation must be verified by at least 3 references and the husband and wife should maintain separate households.




Are foster parents required to receive on-going training?


Yes, every foster parent is required to obtain 15 hours of continuing education each year, as well as attend a minimum of 3 of AGAPE's in-person trainings. AGAPE provides their families with multiple opportunities to acquire the needed training hours. Additionally, foster parents are required to be certified in Infant, Pediatric, and Adult CPR & First Aid. Water safety training may also be required for some families.




What is my next step?


Call AGAPE at 256-859-4481 to speak to a social worker to set up a consultation.




What kids might come into my home?


We ask that families spend time thoughtfully considering what age, gender, and level of need for which your family would be a good fit. AGAPE is looking for foster parents that are open to accepting school age children or sibling groups of any race.




How are foster parents compensated?


Foster parents receive a monthly board payment from DHR for each child in their home. This amount will vary depending on the age of the child and is intended to compensate for the needs of the child while they are in your home. All foster children are eligible for Medicaid. Some children are eligible for WIC [ages 5 and under] and CMA, which assists in paying for childcare. Teens in foster care will receive additional allowances. At times, DHR will fund extracurricular activities.




Can I adopt through foster care?


The primary goal of foster care is to partner with a family to reunify children with their biological parents. If this is not possible and no other relative resource is available, foster parents may be considered as an adoptive resource. If adoption is your primary goal, please consider AGAPE's adoption program.





Foster Parent Requirements

  • Age 19 years or older

  • Single or married

  • Christian and actively involved in a local church

  • TIPS & CPR/First Aid Certification

  • A ministry mindset towards the biological family involved in foster care. 

  • Ability to partner with DHR social workers, Guardian Ad Litems, CAJA workers, and other professionals to ensure that children's needs are met

  • Compassion for the biological family and desire to work in partnership with them to reunify children

  • A safe home that meets all requirements outlined in the safety checklist

  • Flexibility in parenting style in order to incorporate trauma informed parenting techniques

  • Completion of 15 hours of CEUs and 3 in person trainings with AGAPE per year

Contact Us

P.O. Box 127

103 Mountain Brook Blvd.

Madison AL 35758

Phone: 256-859-4481

Fax: 256-859-4483

Email: info@agapecares.org

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a Non-profit 501 (c) (3) Organization