Agape’s Out-of-Home Care Program
Agape strives to provide Christ-centered foster homes for children in need. Our foster care program is a ministry aiming to care for children in what will likely be the hardest time of their life, separation from their family. Children come into foster care for a variety of reasons: abuse, neglect, substance abuse in the home. Our goal is to care for each child as Christ has called us to, to provide love, understanding, education, and compassion. Length of time in foster care is often unknown. Children may stay for years, weeks, or days. Agape is looking for foster parents that will help children return to their families when it is possible and be an option for children looking for a forever home.
Traditional Foster Care
- Agape trains and approves foster parents to care for children in the custody of the Departments of Human Resources from across the state of Alabama.
- Agape provides a supportive social worker and additional training to ensure that placements are successful and stable.
- It is Agape’s goal to partner with DHR for successful reunifications when possible and assisting in finding permanency for each child when it is not.
Enhanced Foster Care
- Agape trains and approves foster parents to provide care for placements of sibling groups of four or more.
- This program is designed to keep some of the most vulnerable foster care placements stable by providing the extra support of an Agape social worker, financial support, and focused training on working with larger sibling groups.
- All referrals are provided by Departments of Human Resources from across the state of Alabama.
Becoming a Foster Family
- Agape is looking for Christ-centered families able to provide safe, comfortable homes for children in the custody of Alabama’s Department of Human Resources and children in need of temporary shelter.
- Start by downloading a Foster Info Inquiries form and emailing it back to email@example.com. (Each application is reviewed at our monthly staff meetings so it could take 3-4 weeks before you hear back from an Agape social worker.)
- A trained social worker will help you understand the commitment that your family would be making and determine if foster care is a good decision for your family.
- If you and your family feel led to foster, Agape will help you find a GPS or Deciding Together class to start your required training.
- Upon completion of training, your family can start the home study process and begin the path to approval and licensure.
Foster Parent Training
Agape recognizes that training and support together comprise one of the most important aspects of successful foster placements. It is our goal to prepare foster parents for the challenges, heartaches, and blessings of fostering. The first step to becoming a licensed foster parent is completion of Group Preparation and Selection (GPS) or Deciding Together. Prospective foster parents should expect to commit six to ten weeks to the training course depending on the type of class being offered. Agape offers foster parent training at various locations throughout the state at varying times of year. If you have been through GPS or Deciding Together with another agency, your training can transfer to Agape with proper documentation.
Training does not end with GPS and Deciding Together! Foster parents are required to log 15 hours per year of continuing education. This can be done through Agape-sponsored events, conferences, approved independent study, and numerous other training opportunities. Foster parents are also required to be certified in CPR and First Aid.
The Alliance is a collaboration among social service agencies in north, central, and south Alabama to provide:
- Crisis stabilization and permanency planning in a therapeutic foster care setting.
- Individually-designed, home-based services to help families safely care for their children in their own homes.
- Permanency planning and reunification services through contracts with the Department of Human Resources.
The Alliance’s vision is that every child will have a safe, stable, culturally competent and permanent home with the resources to achieve their full potential.
Agape is proud to be part of the Central Alabama Alliance with Gateway, Children’s Aid Society, and Glenwood, Inc.
If the above steps don’t answer your question about foster care, please contact the worker at the office nearest you.
Birmingham: Natalie Chambers, firstname.lastname@example.org, 205-733-9755
Enterprise: Linda Sanders, email@example.com, 334-393-1990
Montgomery: Buddy Renahan, firstname.lastname@example.org, 334-272-9466