A Step-by-Step Guide for Foster Parents

You can be a foster parent, and Damar guides you through the process from beginning to end. We believe that foster care creates brighter futures for children—and we can’t do it without you.

A Step-by-Step Guide for Foster Parents

You can be a foster parent, and Damar guides you through the process from beginning to end. We believe that foster care creates brighter futures for children—and we can’t do it without you.

Who Can Be a Foster Parent?

Damar Foster Care Services is a fully licensed, not-for-profit child placement agency, working on behalf of children who are unable to live at home to recruit, prepare, and support quality foster parents.

Fundamentals of Foster Parenting

Damar’s foster care program is filled with top-notch professionals who value the importance of children living in a loving, safe, nurturing home. We are dedicated to achieving the best placement for the children in our community, so we spend significant time evaluating potential foster homes.

At a minimum, individuals, couples, and partners in Indiana must meet the following requirements to become foster parents:

  • All members of the household must pass several criminal background checks and have no substantiated record of abusing or neglecting children.
  • Possess a vehicle, a valid driver’s license, and automobile insurance coverage and cooperate in providing transportation to family visits, medical appointments, and the child’s daily activities.
  • Have a household income to support the host family and additional foster child without being dependent on the foster care per diem reimbursement.
  • Live in a home that can meet basic fire, safety, and sanitary standards, with enough bedroom space for a child and his or her personal belongings.
  • All household members must provide a physician’s statement verifying they are free from any mental or physical condition that would hinder their ability to care for a child.
  • Be at least 21 years old, able to provide personal references. and able to work in partnership with Damar Foster Care Services’ staff to provide for the child’s needs—emotionally, physically, and developmentally.
  • Complete free Resource and Adoptive Parent Training (RAPT), CPR, First Aid and Universal Precautions training and also participate in ongoing annual training requirements.
  • Adhere to all foster care rules and regulations as outlined by the Indiana Department of Child Services, as well as Damar Foster Care Services.

What to Expect from Damar 

For decades, Damar’s Foster Care Services team has devoted itself to supporting the most vulnerable children in our community by placing them in safe, loving foster homes.

The Damar Foster Care Services team offers resources, information, and encouragement while you determine whether foster parenting is your calling. And if you decide it is right for you, we are always only a phone call away.

Damar’s continuum of comprehensive foster-care services includes:

  • Specialized training and education
  • Licensing support
  • Professional case management, consultation, and assessment
  • Treatment planning
  • Sibling and special needs placement
  • Support groups
  • 24-hour crisis intervention
  • Financial reimbursement for the child’s personal expenses, including food, clothing, shelter, personal hygiene items, some travel, school supplies, childcare, extracurricular activities, and daily expenses
  • Respite
  • Child/family advocacy and reunification
  • Kinship care and pre-adoption services

While foster parents must be able to support themselves and the foster child, we provide a per diem reimbursement for the child’s out-of-pocket expenses. Those expenses may include:

  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Shelter
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Travel for visitation and other mileage
  • School supplies
  • Childcare
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Daily expenses and incidentals

Want to know more about how Damar helps its foster parents? 

When placing a child in a foster home, Damar will also gladly:

  • Assist foster parents in maintaining their licenses issued by the State of Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS), including supplying required training.
  • Make DCS licensing rules and guidelines available and help foster parents remain in compliance with requirements.
  • Provide an explanation of DCS policies, including discipline, visitation, and the Department’s roles and responsibilities.
  • Provide an explanation of DCS case-conferencing policy, which operates on the basis of shared information between DCS and foster parents. (The policy also includes a procedure for resolving conflicts.)
  • Provide foster parents with the names and phone numbers of family case managers and a copy of DCS or LCPA policies and procedures, including a plan for an emergency after hours contact.
  • Provide training on cultural sensitivity.
  • Provide information regarding foster children’s religious preferences, when they are known.
  • Secure the proper authorizations for administering non-emergency treatment to foster children, and assist foster parents in providing treatment or referring them to appropriate service providers.
  • With input from foster parents, develop an individual case plan for each child in foster care. The plan is shared with the foster parents so that they are familiar with the case goals and specific needs of each child.
  • Provide a copy of the child’s case plan (which defines appropriate discipline for a child in foster care) and visitation plan.
  • Assist in arranging visitation and encourage communication between the foster children and their legal parents or other appropriate individuals.
  • Monitor and supervise the implementation of the case plan, making face-to-face contact with the child and the foster parent, according to the service level and as the case dictates.
  • Consider input from foster parents and other appropriate persons and make final decisions concerning the care and well-being of foster children.

The Responsibilities of Foster Parenting 

So, What does a foster parent do?

Typical responsibilities include:

  • Providing for personal, physical, developmental, and emotional needs
  • Modeling appropriate behavior and demonstrating positive life skills
  • Providing transportation to visitation, appointments, and activities
  • Monitoring the child’s education and encouraging involvement in extra-curricular activities
  • Helping the child maintain essential connections
  • Participating in team meetings, court proceedings, case conferences, etc.
  • Communicating information regarding the child’s needs, skills, and activities
  • Sharing relevant information with the agency, team members, and birth family

Frequently Asked Questions

Damar quickly answers the questions we are most frequently asked, including the reasons children are placed in foster care, who can be a foster parent, and how to become one.


Have more questions about becoming a foster parent? Contact us for more information.