Adoption and Foster Care
For more information regarding Sandusky County's foster care and/or adoption program, please contact us at 2511 Countryside Dr.; Suite A; Fremont, OH 43420; (419)334-8708 or email us at Foster Care and Adoption Unit . Or complete the Application for Child Placement.
provide temporary care to children who are in the agency's custody. When a child is in the agency's temporary custody, reunification is almost always the goal. Foster parents have a responsibility to help the agency and the child achieve this goal. Some of the things that a foster parent can do to help with this objective are: transporting the child to visits with their family, offering support to the family by listening to their needs and offering them their advice, helping to reestablish a bond between the child and the family by sharing information about the child with the family or allowing visits to occur in the foster home, involving the family in activities like birthday parties for the child, doctor appointments, athletic events, etc. Each case is different and therefore, the level of involvement with the family will vary. Foster parents are expected to provide more than just food, clothing and shelter for a child in their home. They need to allow that child to share in their experiences and become part of "their family" so that the child may succeed and grow during their placement. Each foster parent can make a significant difference in a child's life.There is a tremendous need for foster parents in Sandusky County, especially for those willing to accept older children or children with special needs.
To become a foster parent you must meet certain requirements and also be willing to participate in a very thorough and in-depth home study process. The requirements include such thing as being at least 21 years old, having an income that is sufficient to support your household, being free from any condition that could negatively affect the care of a foster child, and being willing to work with the agency as part of the treatment team. Some of the activities that must be completed during the homestudy process are as follows: homevisits by an agency worker, interviews with all household members, fire and safety inspections, fingerprinting/criminal record checks, medical examinations, and reference checks. Furthermore, all agency foster homes must attend pre-service training prior to certification. Once all activities are completed satisfactorily, the agency will recommend your certification to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. After certification is received, the agency is required to complete updates of your homestudy at least every two years. The foster parent is required to complete ongoing trainings which can most often be obtained through the agency's training program.
The agency offers other ongoing services to the foster parents. These include: foster care reimbursement, clothing allowance, out-of-county mileage reimbursement, medical coverage for the child, respite care, case management and the Foster Parent Committee.
provide a "forever family" for children in the agency's permanent custody. Just like foster parents, adoptive parents need to work hard to incorporate the child into their family so that they may be successful not only in the placement, but in life. Once the child's adoption is finalized, the adoptive parents take on full responsibility for that child's health, education, and overall well being.
To become an adoptive parent you must meet certain requirements and also be willing to participate in a very thorough and in-depth home study process. The requirements include such things as being at least 18 years old, having an income that is sufficient to support your household, and being free from any condition that could negatively affect the care of a child in the agency's permanent custody. Some of the activities that must be completed during the homestudy process are as follows: homevisits by an agency worker, interviews with all household members, fire and safety inspections, fingerprinting/criminal record checks, medical examinations, and reference checks. Furthermore, all adoptive homes must attend pre-service training prior to approval by the agency. Once all activities are completed satisfactorily, the agency will approve you homestudy. Unlike foster parents, adoptive parents are not licensed by the state. After approval, the adoptive parents homestudy can be considered for the placement of children in any agency's permanent custody. Updates of the homestudy must occur at least once every two years. The adoptive parent is also required to complete ongoing trainings which can most often be obtained through the agency's training program.
Other services that may be available to adoptive parents include the following: adoption assistance/subsidies, pre-finalization services, post finalization services, medical card and case management. It is important to note that eligibility for some of the financial programs must be determined (on either the child and/or the family) and therefore, may not be available for every adoptive family.
Can I do both? Yes!! Most often, children do not come directly into the agency's permanent custody. Usually, children who are eventually available for adoption have spent a period of time in foster care. If a foster child moves from temporary custody to permanent custody and none of the child's relatives can offer permanency, the current foster parent is given first consideration to adopt that child. If the foster parent is also already approved as an adoptive parent, the adoption can proceed more quickly. Many times, families contact us feeling certain they want only to foster or adopt. Later, however, they develop an interest in the other program and realize the advantages to be dually approved. So, even if you think you are certain that only one program is for you, be sure to discuss dual approval with your foster care/adoption specialist.
The Children that are in the agency's temporary/permanent custody range in age from 0-18 years old (up to 21 years of age if mentally retarded/developmentally delayed) and come from all races and economic classes. Many have a variety of behavioral, psychological, developmental, emotional, physical or educational special needs. These children have most often been removed from abusive and/or neglectful situations and therefore, will, at the very least, be dealing with issues related to their past treatment. Furthermore, regardless of their past treatment, children who are both temporarily and permanently removed from their biological families very often have to deal with issues of loss and acceptance. It is extremely important that any person interested in the foster and/or adoption program be aware of the types of children they may have placed in their home. Although being a foster/adoptive parent can be very satisfying, it is also extremely challenging and should only be pursued after very careful and deliberate consideration.
In Ohio, there are more than 5,000 children available for adoption. Many of these children belong to a sibling group, have been in an agency's permanent custody for more than one year, are members of a minority or ethnic group, are six years of age or older, have a medical condition, physical impairment, mental retardation, developmental disability, emotional disturbance or behavioral problem, have a personal or familial history which may place them at risk of acquiring a medical condition, a physical, mental or developmental disability or an emotional disorder, or have experienced a previous adoption disruption or multiple placements. Sandusky County maintains a local county photo listing and national photo listing detailing many children who are available for adoption. Sandusky County's waiting children can be viewed at the Children Available for Adoption link., a national listing is also available at Adopt Us Kids which includes many children available for adoption in Ohio.