Fostering during
COVID-19 can
change a life.

During COVID-19, having a safe place to call home could make all the difference in a child’s life.

We know you probably have questions or concerns about what fostering looks like right now. We’re here to answer your questions and make sure you have all the support you need to get started.

What does fostering look like during COVID-19?

COVID-19 has changed our lives in many ways. As we all adjust to a new normal, Foster Plus agencies are as committed as ever to supporting our foster families and the children they care for.* That means everyone’s safety comes first.

Safety is a top priority

  • Foster Plus agencies continuously check the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Guidelines and follow updates on Oregon COVID-19 policies via the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) website.
  • During weekly meetings, agencies discuss the latest COVID-19 Care policies.
  • As much as possible, Foster Plus agencies provide a direct contact person for foster parents to ask questions they might have around COVID-19.
  • Foster Plus agencies are committed to making sure children have telehealth appointments and can connect safely with others via video calls.

* Policies may be different from agency to agency. If you have questions, call your agency directly.

Ways foster families are taking care

  • Everyone in the home follows the safety practices of:
  • Washing hands often.
  • Wearing face coverings with people they don’t live with.
  • Social distancing in public.
  • Sanitizing high-touch surfaces.
  • Visitors sleep in their own rooms, separate from others in the home.
  • Staying outdoors as much as possible.

What does relief parenting look like during COVID-19?

COVID-19 has made it hard for foster parents to get time off. Relief parenting is a great way to give them the break they need. With the right training and support, there are safe ways to work alongside a foster family.

Support a foster family safely—join a POD

Foster Plus agencies are using the POD System for relief parents. What does that mean?

  • Two (sometimes three) foster families form a POD, which means they spend time only with members of that group.
  • The families agree to a shared set of safety practices.
  • A relief parent is assigned to the POD and supports the families in that POD with time off.
  • Relief parents will be asked to follow the same safety guidelines as the families.

Foster Plus supports relief parents from day one and makes sure you have the training and resources you need to reduce your health risks while supporting foster parents.

Still have questions?

We love questions. And we’re here to help you find the answers you need. Take a look below at our Frequently Asked Questions, or feel free to reach out to us via phone at 855-838-4113 or email at info@fosterplus.org.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is it safe for me to foster at this time?

We are committed to your safety and will do everything we can to support you and your health. However, it is important for you to feel confident that fostering is the best for you and your family at this time. The decision is ultimately a personal one.

If I become a foster parent, what happens if someone in the household shows symptoms of COVID-19?

Your Foster Plus agency is there to provide you with training and support to help you navigate a situation like this. If someone has symptoms of COVID-19, you will first need to:

  • Call a doctor right away.
  • Make sure the individual stays away from other members of the household until test results are known.
  • Contact your caseworker and together make a plan for the individual to get tested.

If the individual tests positive they will need to self-isolate for 14 days.

If I become a relief parent, what happens if someone in the foster household shows symptoms of COVID-19?

Your agency will make sure you have the training and the help to make a plan for how to navigate a situation like this. If someone has symptoms of COVID-19, you will be told immediately and families will:

  • Call a doctor right away.
  • Make sure the individual stays to themselves, away from other members of the household.
  • Contact their caseworker and together make a plan for the individual to get tested.

If the individual tests positive they will need to self-isolate for 14 days and you will not be asked to participate in relief parenting until it is safe to do so.

If I become a foster parent now, will my own family have to quarantine?

You will not have to quarantine. But you will need to follow safety practices such as:

  • Staying outdoors as much as possible.
  • Washing hands often.
  • Wearing face coverings with people they don’t live with.
  • Social distancing in public.
  • Sanitizing high-touch surfaces.
  • Making sure visitors sleep in their own rooms, separate from others in the home.
What is the POD system?

A POD system is an arrangement between a limited number of households in order to minimize health risks during the pandemic. Important guidelines include:

  • Two (sometimes three) foster families form a POD, which means they spend time only with members of that group.
  • The families agree to a shared set of safety practices.
  • A relief parent is assigned to the POD and supports only the families in that POD.
  • Relief parents are asked to follow the same safety guidelines as the families.
What if I or someone in my family is immune-compromised or has an underlying health condition?

Foster Plus agencies will work directly with your family to ensure that you feel comfortable before bringing a child into your home, including taking extra steps to make you feel safe.

How are foster children getting the schooling they need during COVID?

Foster children are following the guidelines of their local school district. Some children are attending school in person, while others are distance learning. There is some support for additional in-home instruction for children with a trusted adult known to the family. 

What if someone in my foster family is not complying with health and safety measures?
  • Foster Plus agencies request that all families follow local health and safety measures to do our best to keep the foster child in your home safe.
  • Foster Plus agencies will require that your family self isolate for 10 days prior to having additional people enter your home.
What if someone in my relief parent’s household is not complying with health and safety measures?
  • Foster Plus agencies request that all families follow local health and safety measures to do our best to keep the foster child in your home safe.
  • If someone from a household is not following health and safety measures, the Foster Plus agency will ask them to self isolate for 10 days prior to conducting any relief care.
Can I travel?

Yes. Please be sure to check with your Foster Plus agency to discuss travel plans and understand current expectations and requirements prior to finalizing plans.

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