What is foster care?
When a child is removed from their home, their world feels out of control. They need to know they’re safe during this vulnerable time. When you become a foster parent, you give a child a loving home and the stability they need until they can be reunified with their family.
At Bethany, we believe foster care is fierce love — the type of selfless love that can empathize with a child’s hurt and boldly step up to be that child’s advocate.
When you’re ready, Bethany can help you be the answer for a child in need. You provide a loving home, and we'll provide the support you need.
Common questions about foster care
How many kids are in foster care in the U.S.?
Over 400,000 children are in the U.S. foster care system. The average age of a foster child is 8.
There is an urgent need for foster homes for older children (ages 11-17) and sibling groups.
How much does it cost to be a foster parent?
Foster parents receive a monthly, tax-free stipend. While the amount varies by state, most foster parents report it covers necessary expenses like food, clothing, and school supplies.
You will still discover additional out-of-pocket costs, which is why we recommend foster parents seek community resources and family support.
What are the qualifications to be a foster parent?
You must be 21+ years of age and have sufficient space in your home for foster children. You can be married or single, and you can own or rent your home, apartment, condo, etc.
The exact requirements vary by state. Staff at your local Bethany office will explain your state’s licensing requirements.
What qualities do you need to be a good foster parent?
You might assume a certain type of person makes an “ideal” foster parent — but that’s not true. We’ve worked with single dads, seasoned grandmothers, first-time parents, and parents who both work full time. People from all walks of life can be foster parents.
Those who do it well share certain qualities, like these:
They go with the flow
They have a sense of humor
They ask for help
They’re open to new parenting techniques
They celebrate small victories
They have a fierce love for kids
Is there a Bethany foster care program in my area?
Enter your zip code on our Find a Location page to locate the program nearest you.
Video series: An introduction to foster care
This five-part series is designed to answer five commonly asked questions about foster care:
• What is foster care? • Who are the kids in foster care? • Who are foster parents? • What will foster parenting be like? • What are the steps to becoming a foster parent?