How To Foster A Child

Foster care is a preferred alternative to a children’s home or other state residential facility for a child deemed in need of care. Very often, these children are moved into state care as a result of extreme difficulties in their families. The aim of foster care, therefore, is to provide the child from ages 0-18, with a safe, loving, and nurturing family environment where he or she can get individual attention. This guide is intended to help those who wish to adopt a child in Jamaica.

What is a foster parent?

A foster parent is a state-certified caregiver under whose supervision a ward of the State is placed.  Placement is usually arranged though a government agency.

What would it take to become a foster parent?

Becoming a foster parent demands a high-level of commitment to child-rearing

  • Foster parents are expected to treat a foster child with the same love, care, dignity. and respect, as they would treat their biological children
  • Patience and understanding are critical attributes of a foster parent as some foster children need special care and nurturing as they may bear psychological and emotional scars arising from the difficult circumstances from which they come

How does one become a foster parent?

  • Be an adult of good moral and legal standing with a loving and caring disposition.  There is, however, a legal process which must be followed for a person to become a foster parent.
  • Apply in writing through the children’s officer of the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) [formerly the Child Development Agency (CDA)] in your parish.

Next: What are the prerequisites to becoming a foster parent? What is the State’s responsibility?