I want to find out more about being a foster parent.

How can we be involved?

AGAPE provides foster care for children from birth through 18. Foster families make a difference in helping children to feel cared for, important, and capable, even if it is only a for a short time. The greatest gift you can give these children is yourself.

How do we get started?

AGAPE provides PATH training (Parents As Tender Healers), which prepares you for the challenges and rewards of fostering. Typically, the course is offered one night a week for seven weeks. This training is required for anyone wishing to foster.

What about home studies?

Once the training is completed, home studies are begun. The law requires background checks, physical exams and TB tests, references, and financial statements. Other requirements are explained in training. Interviews occur to gather background information and to document the home and community environment. The home study process will help you make decisions regarding the age and type child you would be best suited to care for. Once the home study is completed and approved by the Social Services Staff, foster families are ready to be contacted when a need arises.

What support is available?

AGAPE provides supportive services to the children and to the foster families. Good communication between case workers and foster parents is essential in helping the children to deal with losses and to assist in the adjustment process. AGAPE recruits families who are active in their churches so that the children can develop their spiritual lives.

Is there financial assistance?

AGAPE provides a monthly reimbursement to help take care of the child based on the child’s age. A clothing allotment is provided as well as reimbursement for child care expenses if you work outside the home. While you should not encounter financial hardships from caring for children, the reimbursement does not substitute for family income. Financial stability is an important factor in a family’s ability to provide foster care for children.

Will the children be with us for a long time?

Foster care is designed to be temporary with the goal being to return to parents. We do our best to provide you with a projected length of stay, but that is not always easy to determine. We have children who are in care for a few weeks to several months. Each situation is unique. A plan of care is developed with the birth parents which outlines the areas where improvement is expected and which specifies the responsibilities of each party. If a parent fails to comply with the plan of care for a significant period of time, parental rights may be terminated so that the child can be placed in a permanent home through adoption. Tennessee law gives foster parents the first opportunity to adopt a child who has become free for adoption if the child has been in the home for 12 or more consecutive months.

What about teens?

Experienced parents are needed who are willing to invest in the future of our teens. It is a special gift to give young people support and a good value base as they make the jump from child to adolescent to adult. It is particularly rewarding to help a child find the security and stability needed in order to learn to make good life decisions

If you have a desire to be missionaries in your own home.  Call AGAPE to learn how you can be important in the life of a child.