Foster Care Fact Sheets

NJ Foster Adoptive Parent & Kinship Caregiver FAQ Bulletins

FAFS’ NJ Foster Adoptive Parent & Kinship FAQ Bulletins: Benefits, Rules, Guidelines and Other Useful Information

Do you have questions about your responsibilities as a NJ foster parent? FAFS is here to help you!

NEW-FAFS and DCP&P: Which is Which?

Both organizations can help resource families overcome difficulties and answer important questions. However, there are very important and distinct differences between the two. Find out which organization does what here.

BEFORE YOU’RE LICENSED:

The Home Study and Pre-service Training Process

Becoming a licensed resource parent can sometimes seem like an overwhelming task. There are many questions during the application process, which can take up to six months. Once an initial foster care/adoption inquiry is complete and you have attended a group engagement meeting with the Division of Child Protection & Permanency (DCP&P), you are given an in-depth application to complete. When that application has been accepted, you will be assigned a Resource Family Support Worker (RFSW) and the home study will begin followed by pre-service training. Download Home Study and Pre-service Training Process.

KINSHIP LEGAL GUARDIANSHIP: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Many prospective guardians may want to consider earning caregiver status for a child as a Kinship Legal Guardian (KLG). But what is KLG? How does it work? Are you even eligible? Download our Kinship Legal Guardianship FAQ to get the answers you need

AFTER YOU’RE LICENSED:

Board Rates: Frequently Asked Questions

Board rates are the monthly payments foster, adoptive and kinship parents (known collectively as resource parents) receive from the NJ Department of Children and Families (DCF) to assist them in providing food, shelter, transportation and entertainment for children in care. Read our FAQ to learn about why board rates differ from one child to another and how they are determined.

Claiming a Dependent Exemption for a Child in Foster Care

According to the Internal Revenue Service Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction and Filing Information,foster parents may be eligible to claim a Dependent Exemption for each child in foster care they care for during the tax year who is eligible to be considered a Qualifying Child. Certain tests apply. Download Claiming a Dependent Exemption for a Child in Foster Care

What is a Life Book and Why Should I Create One?

When a child is placed into foster care there is a high probability that they will suffer a huge loss in addition to the physical proximity and contact with their birth family. That is the loss of identity. No matter how compassionate, loving and nurturing their foster and/or adoptive families are, a child who grow up in foster care may still deal with issues caused by a lack of knowledge of their beginnings and the course of their life. Having a Life Book could help a child put their life experiences in perspective and provide a means for her or him to hold on to memories and gain an understanding of how they came to be where they are. Download the Life Book Keeping You Informed Bulletin.

Babysitting for Children in Foster Care Placement- For Foster Parents and Licensed Kinship Caregivers (Relative Caregivers) in New Jersey

This simplified version of the DCP&P (formerly DYFS) Resource Family Babysitting Protocol will help you, the foster parent or licensed kinship caregiver, understand who is allowed to babysit the child(ren) in your care. This fact sheet lists guidelines for hiring a babysitter and for reimbursement of babysitting expenses. Download the Babysitting for Children in Foster Care Placement Keeping You Informed Bulletin.

Flex Funds – For Licensed NJ Foster Parents & Kinship Caregivers (Relative Caregivers)

Flex Funds are sometimes available to licensed foster & adoptive parents and licensed kinship caregivers through DCP&P (formerly DYFS). When available, Flex Funds can be used to meet a one-time expense or a temporary need, such as prom bids or tutoring. If Flex Funds are not available, FAFS’ Fostering Wishes For Children can help pay for these expenses for NJ children in foster & kinship care. To learn how to access Flex Funds and what they can, and cannot, be used for, download the Flex Funds Keeping You Informed Bulletin.

Planned Vacation and Other Travel – For Licensed NJ Foster Parents & Kinship Caregivers(Relative Caregivers)

If you’re a New Jersey foster parent or kinship caregiver wondering if you can take the child(ren) in your home on vacation, or if you need respite care for a child in care while you’re away, download the Planned Vacation and Other Travel Keeping You Informed Bulletin to get the answers and help you need.

When the Phone Rings – For NJ Foster & FostAdopt Parents

When DCP&P (formerly DYFS) calls your home asking you to take in a child, you may feel many emotions: excited to welcome a child who needs you; anxious to make the child feel comfortable and safe; doubtful that you will be able to give the child the care he/she needs; concerned about how the child will fit into your family. To help you make the decision that’s right for you and your family, and ultimately, right for the child coming into care, FAFS has developed a list of questions to ask When the Phone Rings and DCP&P is on the other end asking you to take in a child. Download the When the Phone Rings Keeping You Informed Bulletin.

Universal Precautions – For NJ Foster & Adoptive Parents & NJ Licensed Kinship Caregivers

When caring for a child sick with a disease like HIV or Hepatitis B & C, it is important to take proper steps to shield yourself from disease. To learn more about protecting yourself and your family while providing proper care to your foster adopted or kinship child with special medical needs download the Universal Precautions Keeping You Informed Bulletin.

Social Media Confidentiality for Children in Care

Social media is defined as a form of electronic communication that allows users to create online communities where information, ideas, personal messages and other forms of content can be shared. However, how to utilize this form of communication with the children in your care while protecting their privacy can be tricky. Read our FAQ to find out the best practices of handling Social Media Confidentiality for Children in Care.

Rights vs Responsibilities of Resource Parents

As a resource parent, the line between your rights vs. your responsibilities can sometimes become blurred. Understanding how the two work together will give you more insight into your role as your child in placement’s primary caregiver and will empower you to be a stronger advocate for him.

CARING FOR SOMEONE YOU KNOW (KINSHIP):

New Driver’s Assistance for Foster Youth in NJ: Frequently Asked Questions

Youth in care in NJ who are at least 16 years old are eligible to have the cost of their New Jersey driver’s training course covered by the Department of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P). Download our New Driver’s Assistance for Foster Youth in NJ FAQ to find out how to receive these driving lesson subsidies.

Kinship Licensed Resource Parenting Vs. The Kinship Navigator Program: Frequently Asked Questions

Kinship care has been on the rise over the years, and different avenues have been developed so relatives can care for their family members who need them. Read our FAQ to learn about the different ways relatives care for children.

WHEN YOU ADOPT FROM FOSTER CARE:

Adoption Tax Credit Information for Adoptions Finalized Prior to 2012

If you finalized a Special Needs Adoption prior to 2012 and you did not claim the Adoption Tax Credit you may still be eligible to claim a portion or all of the credit that was available in the year you finalized the adoption. Download the Adoption Tax Credit Information For Adoptions Finalized Prior to 2012 Keeping You Informed Bulletin.

Adoption Tax Credit Information

The Adoption Tax Credit provides a non-refundable credit that can reduce an adoptive family’s federal income tax liability. If you finalized a Special Needs Adoption during 2013 you may be eligible to claim the Adoption Tax Credit. Download the Adoption Tax Credit Information Keeping You Informed Bulletin.

Have a question not addressed by FAFS’ Keeping You Informed Bulletins? Need more information? Call our toll-free Information Line: 1.800.222.0047 or email Support Services.

Help Foster Children and the Families Who Care for Them

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