Q: Who are the youth Casey serves?
A: Casey serves children and youth ages 11 to 18. They have entered foster care because they are unable to live with their birth families either temporarily or permanently, often because of abuse or neglect. Many are children of color, and many have siblings who would be best placed together.
Q: What are the benefits of fostering older youth?
A: Older youth are often self-sufficient with their own interests and activities. They may not be looking for a mom or dad, but rather a life coach or a mentor. And families with older youth tend to stay youthful themselves and to grow in new ways.
Q: What kind of foster parents is Casey looking for?
A: Casey looks for all types of families who can provide a supportive and stable home environment: single parents, married couples, families of color, empty nesters, home owners, renters, and gay, lesbian, and bi-sexual parents. A disproportionate number of children of color enter the child welfare system. Casey is committed to diversity and anti-racism, and we provide culturally appropriate services.
We also look for families who, when appropriate, can step up to offer a permanent home for a youth through adoption or by becoming their legal guardian.
Q: How much contact do youth have with their birth families?
A: Casey seeks to maintain and, in some cases, to build a positive relationship with birth families. This often brings children and youth a sense of culture, history, and self. Our top priority is to ensure that this contact is safe, and we offer support and supervision when necessary.
Q: What do I do to become a foster parent?
A: Casey takes families through a process that meets both Casey and state requirements to become a foster parent. Requirements vary by state. The process includes a licensing or certification process, depending on the state. In general, this involves getting background checks for all the adults in a household, filling out an application and other paperwork, attending a training, having a home check, and completing an assessment process. We also meet with you so you can learn more about fostering and so we can learn more about you and your family. This helps us determine the best fit for both child and family.
Q: What kinds of supports and services do I get as a Casey parent?
A: Casey offers a wide variety of services and supports to families and youth tailored to meet specific needs including: social work support, 24-hour staff availability, financial reimbursement, training in child development and other related topics, respite (another family takes the child temporarily to give you a break), and life skills services for young adults up to age 25.
Q: We'd like to help a child but are not ready to commit to fostering. Are there other ways to help?
A: Children in foster care need many caring adults in their lives on a consistent basis. Short-term or respite care is one way to get involved by providing care to children for a specified time while foster parents are unavailable or taking a break. It can be as short as a few hours or as long as a few weeks. Other ways to be involved include mentoring, tutoring, providing transportation, or job training.
Q: What is Casey Family Programs?
A: Established by United Parcel Service founder Jim Casey, the Seattle-based national operating foundation has served children, youth, and families in the child welfare system since 1966.
Casey collaborates with foster, kinship, and adoptive parents to provide safe, loving homes for youth in its direct care. The foundation also collaborates with counties, states, and American Indian and Alaska Native tribes to improve services and outcomes for the more than 500,000 young people in out-of-home care across the U.S.
Q: How do I get more information?
A: Local Casey offices can provide more information and answer additional questions.