Department of Human Services

Steve Clifton, Director

172 Justice Center Road
Cañon City, CO 81212

(719) 275-2318
Fax: (719) 275-5206

For specific information on becoming a Kinship/ Foster/Adoptive Parent or Respite Care Provider for Fremont County  please contact:

Fremont County Department of Human Services
Foster Care Certification
172 Justice Center Road
Canon City, Colorado 81212
719-275-2318

Family First

The goal of the Fremont County Department of Human Services is to reunite children with their families.  If a child cannot be returned to their primary caregiver, every effort will be made to place that child with appropriate relatives or other caring adults in their life.  If after all relative options have been exhausted then we place children with a foster or foster-adopt family. 

Non-Relative or Foster Care/Fost-Adopt

Today, Fremont County Department of Human Services has approximately 24 certified foster homes (non-relative) to care for children and youth of our community.  Often times our foster homes are full, which requires that children who come into care must be placed outside of our community/county away from their schools, friends, neighbors and extended families.  It is traumatic enough to tell a child we have to place them with people they don’t know, but if the only foster family available is in another community/county, it only adds to the child’s anxiety and fear.

Should you become a Kinship/Foster/Adoptive Parent?

Some things to consider:

What is Foster Care?

Foster care means the placement of a child into the legal custody or legal authority of a county department of human/social services for physical placement of a child in a certified or licensed facility.
Foster care is intended to provide a substitute family for children for a temporary period of time, during which the family can work towards the goal of reunification.
Foster care is not a punishment for behavior and children in foster care are not bad.  Children in foster care may have a variety of behaviors as a result being abused and/or neglected; such as differed appearance due to physical abuse (bruises/cuts, low weight), parent-like behavior, hoarding food, shy and reserved, very talkative, etc.
Children and Youth may need foster care placements for a variety of reasons:

Family to Family Model Explanation

Annie E. Casey Foundation’s explanation of Family to Family:

Family to Family uses neighborhood-based foster care as a bridge to permanence. Recognizing the need to nurture strong emotional bonds between parent and child, Family to Family builds a network of family foster care that is neighborhood-based, culturally sensitive, and places children primarily in the communities in which they live. Using this approach, and consistent with the Adoption and Safe Families Act’s guidelines, foster care is viewed as a temporary extension of the child’s family, not a replacement for it. Family to Family partners treat foster families as professional members of the child’s team. Foster families receive enhanced training and support to care for the often complex needs of their foster children. They participate in the team decision making meetings and therefore shape the critical decisions made on behalf of the children for whom they care. Foster families also are trained to become a resource for and partners with birth parents—working to assure birth families remain connected with their children and, where possible, are prepared for a safe reunification. Foster parents serve primarily as partners in reunification by supporting and maintaining the child’s connection to the birth family. However, statistics indicate that foster families are also the primary adoptive resource when reunification cannot occur. Family to Family encourages combined recruitment and training of prospective foster and adoptive families. This approach ensures that the child’s first placement is the only placement. Family to Family uses foster parents from the community as recruiters and ensures that recruitment is community-owned, culturally sensitive, and reflective of the children entering care. The agency enlists foster
families as the primary recruiters of other foster families.  Family to Family encourages community supports for all families caring for children in agency custody, including kinship families. Family to Family also places a strong emphasis on empowering extended family members to care for related children as a means to lessen the likelihood of long-term system involvement for children in care.

Fremont County Principles of Family to Family

Family to Family is designed to:

What does this mean for you as a foster parent?
The understanding that you will be willing to work with children, youth and their biological families to support and encourage reunification when appropriate.

Icebreaker Meetings:
An icebreaker meeting provides an opportunity for parents and foster parents to “break the ice” and talk about the needs of the child. The parents and foster parents are able to share information about themselves and their parenting practices.  Parents also share information critical to the child’s comfort and adjustment in a new setting.  The meeting is the first step in the development of partnership between the family and the temporary caretakers of their child. 

 

Family to Family

Fremont County Department of Human Services
Nine Outcomes

2009

2010

2011

  1. Reducing the number of children placed away from their birth families.

40 % of active children were in care.

35 % of active children were in care.

32 % of active children were in care.

2.  Children remain in their home school.

53 % of children remained in their home school.

51 % of children remained in their home school.

57% of children remained in their home school.

  1. Reducing the number of children in institutional care.

27 % of children in care experienced a higher level of care.

20 % of children in care experienced a higher level of care.

29 % of children in care experienced a higher level of care.

  1. Decreasing lengths of stay.

Average length of stay was 536 days.

Average length of stay was 404 days.

Average length of stay was 509 days.

  1. Increasing the number of children reunified with their family.

30 % were reunified with family.

58% with a parent
10%with a family member

46 % with a parent
14%with a family member

  1. Decreasing the number of children who re-enter care.

17% of children in care experienced a re-entry into care.

15 % of children in care experienced a re-entry into care.

14 % of children in care experienced a re-entry into care.

  1. Reducing the number of placement moves children experience

38 % of children in care experienced a placement move.

38 % of children in care experienced a placement move.

28 % of children in care experienced a placement move.

  1. Increasing the number of siblings placed together.

43% of children were placed with their siblings.

57 % of children were placed with their siblings.

47 % of children were placed with their siblings.

  1. Reducing any disparities associated with gender.

56% of children in care
were boys.
44% of children in care
were girls.

54% of children in care
were boys.
46% of children in care
were girls.

59% of children in care
were boys.
41 % of children in care
were girls.

Basic Requirements
The following are basic requirements for the certification process:

-Are at least 21 years of age
-Are single, married, divorced, widowed, or in a stable domestic partnership
-Own or rent your home
-Have a valid driver’s license and car insurance
-Willing to transport the children to and from appointments to include school, visitation, and medical/dental appointments
-Willing to get your CPR/First Aid Certification and maintain it through the life of certification
-Willing to participate in the Family to Family Model (TDM’s, Icebreakers, keeping kids in their home communities and schools, etc.)
-Have adequate financial resources to sustain your household independently
-Demonstrate an adequate level of physical fitness and stamina to care for active children.
-Demonstrate personal characteristics/strengths needed to meet the challenges of parenting children with varying emotional and behavioral needs associated with trauma, grief and loss
-Are open to learn
-Can work in partnership with our county agency and are open to consult with others on a child’s professional team
-Can remain open to and maintain safe and appropriate connections with a child’s extended family of origin.

The Role of a Foster Parent:
Foster parents are caring, and committed individuals who open their hearts and home to meet the needs of children who must be placed in out-of-home care in order to be safe. A foster family provides the child with an emergency or temporary home and a supportive, stable family environment while the birth family addresses the concerns or situation that prevents them from parenting their child. Typically, foster parents care for the child until reunification with the birth family occurs, there is an adoption or guardianship with kin, or the child is legally available for adoption. Sometimes foster parents become the permanent home for the child through adoption.

How fostering is similar to parenting your own children?

How fostering is different from parenting your own children?

How is fostering similar to a job?

How is fostering different from a job?

Basic expectations of a foster parent:

Types of Foster/Adoptive Homes Fremont County needs:

Traditional Foster Care homes for youth ages zero to eighteen years of age.
Homes for sibling groups of all ages
Homes for Teens (both boys and girls)
Homes for Teen moms and pregnant teens
Respite homes

I’m Still Interested…now what?  How to start the process page

More Information and Resource Links