Frequently Asked Questions
Children in state care range in age from birth to 18 and are frequently part of a sibling group that must remain together. Some of these children have physical, mental or emotional disabilities ranging from mild to severe.
On any given day, there are thousands of children in Oklahoma DHS custody, and many of those children are waiting to be adopted. Children are in foster care because they were removed from their families due to abuse or neglect.
The home assessment and training are provided at no charge. Most adoption expenses are covered by the state of Oklahoma. Some uncovered expenses include the cost of a physical exam for all adults in the home and the purchase of items to ensure the safety of the home.
Families identify their preferences regarding placement prior to receiving requests. DHS is child-focused and our goal is to find families who will meet the needs of the children we have in custody.
Upon placement of a child in your home, DHS and/or your partner agency will make regular contact with you as well as provide additional supports including: respite (as appropriate), ongoing training, support groups, child care for foster children, home visits, team meetings, phone consultations, and a formal process for sharing your concerns.
Yes, each child in DHS custody has coverage through Medicaid (SoonerCare). SoonerCare covers pharmacy, behavioral health, specialty and regular doctor visits at no copay to the foster parent. SoonerCare encourages parents to schedule a well-child visit with a doctor for the children in their home. Well-child visits are more comprehensive than a physical and are a time for the doctor to make sure your child is growing and developing like they should. A list of SoonerCare providers can be found at www.okhca.org/findaprovider.
SoonerRide is a non-emergency transportation service that can assist in getting you and the child to medical appointments.
When a child is placed in your home, your worker should provide you with a login for the Health Passport. The Health Passport is a website where you can see the medical records for the child in your home for the duration of the time they have been covered by SoonerCare.
To learn more about SoonerCare benefits, please access our Sooner Care Member Handbook.
It is likely you will be asked to have contact with the birth family, etc. These decisions are made on a case-by-case basis, in order to meet the needs of the child and their family.
Yes, when reunification is the goal of the family service plan, it is likely you will be asked to have contact with the birth family, etc. These decisions are made on a case-by-case basis, in order to meet the needs of the child and their family.
It is likely you will be asked to have contact with the birth family. These decisions are made on a case-by-case basis, in order to meet the needs of the child and their family. In many situations it is ideal for the child to see the foster and birth parents work together.
Yes, your role may include mentoring the birth family.
The child’s worker will set up a Family Time plan and include you in the facilitation of this.
Yes, after you make sure the people and the type of contact is approved through the worker.
No, hosting the birth family in your home is not a requirement. However, many foster families develop a relationship with the birth family and invite them to visit their home. This can alleviate the birth family’s concerns as well as demonstrate to the child(ren) that their support network is robust. It is likely you will be asked to have contact with the birth family. These decisions are made on a case-by-case basis, in order to meet the needs of the child and their family.
No, visiting the birth family’s home is not a requirement. However, many foster families develop a relationship with the birth family, resulting in an invitation to the birth family’s home. This can provide foster families more insight into the child(ren)’s background.
If the foster parent is able to provide transportation to and from family time, that is usually best for the child(ren). However, if the family time schedule does not meet the foster family’s schedule the child’s worker or a case aide can provide transportation.
You will receive your Oklahoma Foster Care Reimbursement card in the mail quickly after becoming certified. This card comes in a plain white envelope, please make sure not to throw it away. Your monthly reimbursement will be automatically deposited onto your card each month.
Your card will be mailed along with directions for how to set up your account, download the WAY 2 GO app, and set up an automatic transfer to your primary bank account. The app will also provide you with a balance.
To withdraw funds from your account, go to an ATM, just as you would with a debit card. If no ATM is available or you would prefer a bank, go to your bank and request a cash advance for all funds on your card.
Foster parents receive reimbursement for the costs associated with the care of a child in their home. How you spend the reimbursement is up to you and the needs of your foster family.
Foster parents can exercise the reasonable and prudent parent standard to identify an informal care provider for up to seven consecutive days of care. If a child will be with another caregiver for seven to 13 days, an alternate caregiver must be identified by the foster family and approved through the agency. Foster parents may also access formal respite caregivers that are approved foster homes.
A foster parent is encouraged to use their best judgement when allowing a child to spend the night at a friend’s house.
Once every three months, the child’s worker will complete an unannounced visit to ensure the child(ren)’s safety.
Yes, as long as the provider accepts Soonercare.
Any party to the case can request a Court Appointed Special Advocate.
Any party to the case can request a family meeting.