Foster Care FAQs


What are some of the responsibilities of a foster parent?

Foster parents are to provide children and youth with a safe, stable, nurturing and loving environment during a very difficult time in the child’s life, for as long as the child will be living there. Foster parents transport children to and from medical appointments, school functions and visits. Every child in foster care has a service plan that foster parents, Vista Del Mar staff, the county child welfare worker, and the child(if old enough) all develop together. Placement goals include permanency outcomes, community integration, meeting the medical and dental needs of the children, reducing and eliminating inappropriate behaviors, and supporting the child’s educational needs.

Who are the children placed in foster care?

Children are between 0-18 years old and have usually been removed from families for reasons of physical and/or emotional abuse, neglect, maltreatment or family crisis.

How long do children stay in a foster home?

Foster children may stay in care from a few days up to many months. In some cases, foster children might stay for years. The goal in every case is to work towards building a stable, permanent relationship. Possibilities include reunification with biological family, or adoption. Foster families may adopt their foster children if adoption becomes the child’s plan.

Do foster parents receive funding?

Foster and adoptive parents receive a monthly reimbursement determined by the child’s age and program placement. These funds reimburse foster parents for a portion of the cost of the foster child’s room, board, clothing, transportation and other incidentals. Foster parent reimbursements are not considered taxable income by the IRS or the state of CA.

Who provides health and dental care for foster youth?

Medi-Cal fully covers a foster child’s medical and dental care. Foster parents must keep every foster child current on all medical and dental appointments and vaccinations.

Does a foster child need his/her own room?

State regulations require that no more than two children of the same gender and within five years of age may share a room. Each child must have his or her own bed, closet space and dresser. A foster child may not share a room with an adult (18+) unless the child is under 2 years of age.

What are Vista’s requirements and qualifications to become a Vista Foster Parent?

  • Foster parents must be over the age of 21 and physically able to work with children.
  • Foster parents must allow Vista to run criminal background and child abuse checks.
  • Foster parents must also:
  • Have a stable home and income
    Maintain a drug free environment
    Be CPR and first aid certified
    Complete all required training

What Does Vista Del Mar Look For In A Foster Parent?

We look for people who are able to:

  • Provide a loving, nurturing, and safe family
  • Help the child stay connected to supports that are in their best interests
  • Provide children with opportunities to develop their interests
  • Speak respectfully about the child’s birth family
  • Help the child keep their relationships and possessions intact
  • Help children heal, grow, succeed, and feel connected, safe, and loved
    Work as a member of the child’s team

Foster parents DO NOT have to be:

  • Married
  • Homeowners
  • Rich
  • Of any particular race, gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation