Fostering Children in Maryland

Fostering Children in Maryland

There are all kinds of families in this world. Some children live with both of their parents, while some live with one and visit the other. Some children might live with their grandparents, and some stay with a foster family. There are foster programs in the United States, to provide kids with a safe and caring home, when they don’t already have one.

home 2Every child deserves a loving home- they need a home to live in, a place to sleep, clothes to wear, healthy food to eat, and toys to play with, too. They need someone who can take them to school, the dentist, and the doctor, and also make sure they take their baths and brush their teeth. They also need someone to love them, who doesn’t abuse or hurt them.

Most children get this with their biological parents, unfortunately that isn’t the case for every child. If a child’s biological family hurts or abuses them, or can’t provide them with a safe space- then foster families come in to play.

Foster Care Requirements

Foster parents in Maryland can be married, they can be single, and they can be in a same sex relationship. Some foster families may have biological children, while others don’t. There is no need to be wealthy to become a foster carer, or adopt a child. You don’t have to own a home, either, you can just be renting. What you do need, though, is sufficient financial resources to provide a foster child with adequate care, while still meeting the rest of the family’s financial needs.

Foster parents must be at least 21 years of age. While there isn’t a maximum age, agencies generally avoid placing a child with a family that’s younger parent has an age difference of 45 years or more with the child. To become a foster family in Maryland, you must undergo a minimum of 27 training hours. For those foster parents looking to adopt domestically, there is no need to be a US citizen, however, you must be a legal US resident.  

The Cost of Fostering & Adoption

When you choose to foster or adopt through the local social services department, there are no fees. When you choose to work with a private agency there will be fees, which are generally based on your income. Private agencies can set their own fees, as there are no state caps in Maryland. However, in many cases the state will reimburse the family, or pay the fee to the agency.

If you’re adopting a foster child that has special needs, families in Maryland can get Federal Tax Credits. This helps with expenses, additionally, Maryland offers a state tax credit.

Agency Information

You need to decide whether you want to work with a public agency, or a private one. Contact them directly to find out more about their services. Maryland has 33 private agencies, and 23 social service departments. The state does not offer universal orientations, you must contact them to get their orientation schedule. 

Taylor

Tom "Taylor" Pyles is a child abuse survivor and the founder The Blue Ribbon Project. He has been a police officer with Annapolis Police Department for over a decade and is assigned as a Detective in the Criminal Investigations Section.  When not working, you'll find him spending time with his family and out enjoying the countryside on two wheels. 

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