I have said in previous posts that there needs to be a consistent way of doing things on a national level, when it comes to providing for children in foster care. As it is now, it is up to the individual states as to how they run their programs, and what services they offer children and families in need. I will now begin to cover each state and what they offer as far as foster care services.
While some programs are the same state to state, many states offer very different and unique services for children in care. I will progress alphabetically, and start with Alabama.
One of the first things I found on the Alabama Department of Human Resources web site is that they have a foster parent handbook. I’m talking about 123 pages of great information, like minimum standards for foster care, dealing with birth parents, confidentiality, training, fun surveys, developmental stages in children, …etc. How cool is that? I saved a copy for my reference too. It’s an awesome resource for any foster or adoptive parent.
Then there is an Alabama foster parents’ bill of rights, which is an eight page document that spells out exactly what is expected of foster parents, and what support services are available to them.
The state offers foster care services for children as well as programs to help teen Moms. They also have therapeutic foster care homes, and a therapeutic foster care manual. There is a residential services directory, an online residential resource directory, and a therapeutic foster care directory.
Alabama has child protective services, foster care services, and family services. They have links to the Alabama Heart Gallery, Alabama non-profit organizations, and waiting children. With just the limited amount of research I have done on the state of Alabama and its foster care services, I would say that they are one of the states that are doing it right. By that, I mean they have a plan of how they are going to try and solve the problem of children in out of home placements, by helping families and children prior to abuse and neglect becoming a problem.
Next, we have Alaska…