Thank you for your interest in changing a child’s life by becoming a foster parent!
If you’re ready to get started, complete our prescreen form.
Steps to Foster Parenting
Once you have discussed the possibility of becoming a foster parent with our program social worker, your next step is the mandatory 30-hour training program to prepare you to foster while also helping you make an informed decision about becoming a foster parent.
This training, called Massachusetts Approaches to Partnership in Parenting (MAPP), is free and required by the Department of Children and Families, offered locally by Plummer Youth Promise staff.
Step 1: Talk To Us
Start by calling us at 978-935-2801 or sending an email to email@example.com. We know it’s a big decision to become a foster parent and we’ll try to answer all your questions. We can also mail you additional information or put you in touch with a Plummer foster parent who can provide a first-hand perspective on foster parenting.
We will also ask you some basic questions, such as where you live, who you live with and why you are interested in fostering a child.
Step 2: Meet With Us
We’ll schedule an informational meeting with you one-on-one so you can learn more about Plummer Youth Promise and the kids we serve. We can discuss the joys and challenges of parenting a foster child and review the resources we provide so your experience will be successful and rewarding.
Step 3: Get Trained
Children and youth in foster care often have special needs due to the traumatic experiences that brought them into care. Once you’ve decided to pursue foster parenting, you must undergo 30 hours of training known as Massachusetts Approaches to Partnership in Parenting (MAPP). The training, required by the state Department of Children and Families and offered locally by Plummer Youth Promise, will prepare you to foster while also helping you make an informed decision about becoming a foster parent.
Step 4: Complete a Home Study
Once you have been trained, a licensed social worker will conduct a home study. The social worker will talk to you and others living in your home, including children to learn more about your family and the ways in which we can best support you. You will need to meet various state requirements including having enough space to comfortably accommodate all members of the household.
Massachusetts Approach to Partnership in Parenting (MAPP) Training
Location: Plummer Foster Care, 290 Merrimack St, Suite 206, Lawrence, MA
Dates: Scheduled when there are an adequate number of participants
To register, please contact Foster-Info@plummeryouthpromise.org
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can be a Plummer foster parent?
- Foster parents must be at least 25 years old
- Foster parents can be single, married, or living together
- Foster parents can be any race, gender, or sexual orientation
- Families may either rent or own their home/apartment
- One adult in the home needs to be able to communicate in English
- Foster families will need to participate in background checks & finger printing
- One foster parent must have a valid driver’s license and access to transportation
- If the foster parent is a single parent, they must work or have some financial income. For couples, at least one parent must work or have income coming into the household
- The foster home must be clean, safe, free of fire and other hazards and meet state regulatory standards (including working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors). It must also be sufficient in size to accommodate comfortably all members of the household and the approved number of foster/pre-adoptive children
Who are the children in Plummer Foster Care?
- They are children and youth from birth to age 22 who need a nurturing loving family to provide them stability and a family setting
- They are referred by the MA Department of Children and Families (DCF)
- They have experienced some level of trauma
- They come from variety of cultural and racial backgrounds
What type of support does Plummer Foster Family Care provide to foster families?
- A Plummer social worker is assigned to support each child and family
- 24/7 access to a Plummer staff for emergencies and urgent questions
- Training before you become a foster parent and while you are fostering
- Respite care with another trained foster family – somewhere your foster child can go for a few days if needed, if you have to travel or you simply need a break
- Reimbursement for room & board, mileage and certain other pre-approved expenses, at the state’s daily rate
- Foster children are eligible for Medicaid (Mass Health) that covers all medical, mental, and dental health needs. Foster parents are not responsible for a child’s medical expenses
What is the process for becoming a foster parent?
- The first step is to call us at 978-935-2801
- A Plummer staff will describe our programs, the process, and answer questions
- An application packet will be brought to your initial meeting with the Plummer social worker or mailed or emailed to you at your request
- Background checks will be conducted on all household members 15 years and older; medical, personal, and employer references are required
- Plummer Foster Care invites the family to attend the pre-service training called Massachusetts Approach to Partnership in Parenting (MAPP). It is required that all foster parents attend 30 hours of this training
- A home study starts after the MAPP training is completed
- Experienced Plummer foster parents are available to answer questions and provide support throughout the process
- The process by which children are matched with the foster family begins
What does the home study/foster home assessment consist of?
- The Family Resource Worker will meet with you and your family in your home to discuss personal history, family, and home life.
- Families sometimes get anxious about this part of the process. However, it is important to know that Plummer social workers are not looking for a “perfect” home or family. We want to get to know you so that we can best match a child with you and your family
- Plummer social workers work together with foster families to decide what kind of child would be the most suitable match for your family. For example, would a teenager or a younger child work the best with your family dynamics, schedule, etc.?
- All licensing requirements must be met before a foster parent license is issued. Because of the time necessary to meet all of the requirements, including various inspections and the necessary training, it typically takes sixty (60) days or more to become a licensed foster care provider
- A Plummer staff person or experienced foster parent is with you every step of the way!