Lutheran Services of Georgia’s Specialized Foster Care program works to find secure, stable, and loving homes for children in the custody of the state. When a child is removed from a home where alleged abuse and/or neglect are present, they are in need of love and support. Our top priority in Foster Care is the safety and well-being of each child that we place in our foster homes. We take the necessary steps to ensure that children are matched with the most appropriate home to meet their needs. We provide a thorough pre-placement training program as well as continuing training and support after placement.
Our Approval & Matching Process
Each prospective family must complete an orientation, pre-service trainings, and have a thorough home study assessment completed and approved by the state of Georgia. During the home study assessment, recruiters assess your childhood upbringing, relationships, medical history, family interaction, desire to foster, behavior management/ discipline practices, capacity, and a host of other safety measures. At the completion of this process, both the family and assessor will be able to determine the type of child(ren) they can and are willing to foster and the capacity of their home to accommodate that type of child(ren).
We place a strong emphasis on matching each child with foster parents who are best suited to meet his or her individual needs. Each prospective foster parent completes a placement preference log which includes answering specific questions about the type of child, behaviors, medical diagnosis etc. they would be comfortable working with and what behaviors and/or medical issues would be challenging and incompatible with their ability to foster. The placement log along with the information gathered during the home study assessment helps the foster care supervisor make the best decision as to the type of child(ren) that can be matched with a particular family.
Our Foster Parents receive extensive training to prepare them for their role in caring for a child. In addition to the Georgia mandated Impact Training, which includes 23 modules over 20 hours, Therapeutic Behavior Management Training (TBM); LSG also requires additional foster parent education, including:
1. Core Training: Foster parents learn the basics of how we work with DFCS, LSG’s foster care policies and other essential information like the on call numbers and emergencies services that are available to them. Each parent is also certified in CPR/First Aid.
2. Special Needs Training: Parents receive training in the how to deal with specific behavioral issues, physical or developmental disabilities. If a medically fragile child is placed in the home, training is provided by a hospital medical professional, LSG Nurse, or other designated medical personnel prior to the child being placed in the home.
3. Continuing Training: Foster parents are required to complete 15 hours of on-going training annually to remain in compliance.
Once a family has welcomed a child into their home, LSG provides them with continued support. There are quarterly meetings that parents are encouraged to attend that cover additional training information and updates on changes in policy and other relevant topics. In addition, LSG staff refer foster families to resources within their community. The month of May is Foster Care Appreciation. LSG takes the opportunity to thank our caregivers with a celebration and gifts to show our appreciation. During the holidays, LSG celebrates our families with a holiday meal and gifts for the parents and children.
Fostering is not easy, but for so many families, the blessing outweighs the challenges. Many people become foster parents so they can impact a child’s life, but often their own lives are transformed by opening their home and their hearts to a child in need. If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, please contact our office at 404-591-7053 or email Akiva Ford at Aford@lsga.org. If you are interested in donating to LSG to help support our Specialized Foster Care program, click here to donate and designate Foster Care as the fund.