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How does foster care work in Stark County? Here are the details

How does foster care work in Stark County? Here are the details

There are more than 500 children in the Stark County Job & Family Services foster care system, with about 125 foster homes available.

That’s not enough to care for every child, and the agency is always looking for more qualified people to become foster parents.

Below, Stark County Children Services answers some basic questions about foster care and what to do next if someone is interested in fostering or adopting a child.

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Q: How does Stark County Children Services become involved with children?

A: Families and children come to the attention of the agency for a variety of reasons. Common underlying factors are parental substance use and addiction, mental health needs and economic struggle.

Q: What happens to children when the agency needs to remove them from a home?

A: When removal from their home is necessary, the agency strives to place children with kin, which is anyone with a preexisting relationship with the child such as family or friends. At this time, about 30% of children in the agency’s custody are placed with kin.

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Q: If children are not placed with relatives, are they placed in a foster home?

A: Yes, depending on the needs of the child, they will be placed in an agency foster home. Children with higher supervision, hospitalization or therapeutic needs may be placed in a residential treatment center or group home. Kinship homes and foster homes are preferred so that children can live in a family setting.

Q: In general, what does someone need to qualify to be a foster parent?

A: There are several general requirements which include, but are not limited to, stable income, adequate housing, clearing a criminal background check, training and the drive to help families and children.

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Q: What makes a successful foster parent?

A: An understanding of your personal skill set. Different individuals have different things to offer and knowing your strengths can help us connect you with the right family.

Q: Does Stark County help pay for the cost of fostering a child or children?

A: The agency pays a reimbursement for upfront costs during the licensing process. Foster parents are also paid a daily per diem based on the age of the children and their needs.

Q: If you want to learn more about fostering Stark County children, what should you do next?

A: Visit the agency’s website at or call the inquiry line at 330-451-8789. Foster care information meetings are held monthly, typically on the first Tuesday of the month, and alternate between in person and virtual. The next session is 6 to 7 p.m. June 4 over Zoom. Call the inquiry line to register.

Q: If you’re interested in adopting a child, rather than fostering, what should you do next?

A: The agency does not license for adoption only. If you are interested in adoption only, visit the OhioKAN website:

This article originally appeared on The Repository: How does foster care work in Stark County? Here are the details

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