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Departments » Health & Human Services-Community Services » Child & Family Services
Foster Care

Foster Parent Informational Sessions:

Tuesday, January 15, 2019
Wednesday, February 13, 2019
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Thursday, April 18, 2019
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Tuesday, June 18, 2019
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
Thursday, October 17, 2019
Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Sophie Beaumont Building
111 N. Jefferson St., Green Bay, WI 54301
All sessions are held at 6 p.m.

If you have questions, please contact: 
Allison Higgins, Foster Care Coordinator, at or call

Is Foster Parenting for You?

It might be! You probably have more to offer a foster child than you ever realized. Every day foster parents help to save the lives of children who might not otherwise have a chance to learn and grow in a loving home environment. These kids need people to change the course of their lives!

What is Foster Care?

Foster care is a temporary alternative to a child’s biological home when that home becomes socially, emotionally, or physically inadequate for the child’s needs. Foster children range in age from infant to 21; however, the greatest needs are for sibling groups of 3 or more, youth with special needs, and teenagers. It is an expectation that foster parents work with birth parents. All foster children have unique backgrounds, experiences, personalities, strengths and weaknesses. Some may require extensive care for physical or emotional handicaps or disabilities. Foster children sometimes do not have a strong sense of belonging or a strong sense or self-worth. Many of them have been victims of physical or sexual abuse, some have suffered neglect, and some children and infants require extensive medical care.

By the Numbers …

  • Approximately 250 children are in foster care in Brown County and more enter each week.
  • 7-10 children are currently placed in residential treatment centers because of the shortage of foster homes.
  • Placement in a treatment center is often not in the best interest of the child and costs taxpayers ten times as much as care in a foster home—sometimes in excess of $20,000 per month.

Types of Foster Homes

Foster care is 24-hour care provided by licensed foster parents for children who cannot live with their parents because they are unsafe, have special care or treatment needs, or other circumstances exist where parents or family are unable to care for them. County human service agencies license and oversee these placements. Generally, placement in foster care is temporary and intended to give the child's family time to make necessary changes so that the child can live safely in his or her home and community. Most children in foster care return home to their families. When children cannot return home, they find permanence through placement with relatives, adoption, or other means.

See and hear from a local foster family

Learn More

Interested in learning more? Attend our next fostering information session.

Check out our Facebook or Twitter

A Social Worker’s Perspective

A discussion about common questions and myths about foster care with Gena Schupp, Supervisor, Brown County Child Protection

What types of people/families make good foster parents?
We are looking for people with emotional maturity who are able to provide a nurturing environment, as well as set limits for the children. Having a high tolerance for children with emotional and behavioral struggles is helpful as well.

Our foster parents work closely with our unit (Foster Care) and once a child is placed with them they will have an assigned social worker. So working with and being part of a team is helpful. It is an expectation that foster parents work with birth parents.

People that enjoy parenting and who are looking to improve the life of children are usually a good fit!

Are there any special qualifications, education or training required to become a foster parent?
Foster parents must complete six hours of online pre-placement training. Then, over the course of the next two years, they have to complete 30 hours of foundation training. This training is truly amazing and they have two years to complete it so it’s very manageable for most people.

Their assigned social worker will also provide any individualized education they may need depending on the particular needs of the child in their home.

Can single people foster?
ABSOLUTELY! We have many successful single foster parents.

Is it expensive to be a foster parent?
No, the family is provided with a monthly reimbursement based on the needs of the child. (Children with more needs usually require more attention, so payments to the foster parents reflect those needs.) The ongoing payments are to help purchase food, clothes and miscellaneous items. And when a child is first placed with a family they are given a clothing allowance to start the child off with a wardrobe. Sometime unexpected costs come up and in those cases we work with the foster families to find the needed funds.

Do foster kids usually have significant issues?
All of the children that come into foster care have experienced some type of trauma. The only reason a child is placed in foster care is because it is no longer safe for them to remain in their home. This may be due to abuse or neglect or if a parent is unavailable or unwilling to provide care to their child.

Removing a child from their home is a very traumatic situation and we only do this when there are no other alternatives. We take children away from everything they know and basically place them with strangers. This is extremely difficult for the child. Regardless of what a parent has done, children desire to be with their parents. Many of the children coming into foster care are fearful and do not trust. It’s important that foster parents give children time to adjust to their new environment. Many of our children come from homes where there is constant chaos and they may struggle to function in a stable environment. Having patience is very important.

When we do have children with significant issues (whether behavioral or medical) we discuss this with the foster parents up front. While we can never really completely understand the trauma a child has experienced, we try to give the foster parents as much information as possible.

With teens, they are often used to being self-sufficient or even being the main care provider in the family. Sometimes it is difficult for them to learn they are a child and don’t have to act like an adult. Teens may run or be dramatic and untrusting. All of the children that come into care—just like children everywhere—need patience, love and stability.

How long do foster kids stay with their foster families?
This varies. Generally, prior to a child entering a foster home, we have searched for a relative to provide care. But sometimes a relative becomes available after placement and a stay is quite short. Overall a child could be in a placement for one night to several years. This is something that is always discussed with the foster family. We try to plan as much as possible but sometimes unforeseen things happen. Sometimes foster parents decide they need to end the placement. We try to work with the family to maintain the placement but if this is not possible, we assist in finding another appropriate home. We usually try very hard to maintain placements because further moves to a child can be damaging.

What is the most common reason for deciding to foster?
Most people come to us and say they want to help. Sometimes they know someone who is a foster parent or they may know a child that is in foster care. It always starts with a desire to improve the life of a child. And this is a great motive!
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