Foster care is a state-run program to help and protect children. This program places children in foster homes, under the supervision of a licensed foster parent. While each situation is different, several common reasons for foster care placement include abuse, neglect, or an unfit or unsafe environment in the biological home. A foster parent is in charge of providing the child with food, clothing, shelter, safety, support, and care and concern.
Some children will stay in foster care long-term. For others, it is a temporary placement until their biological home is a safe and stable environment again. When the placement is temporary in nature, the biological parent may be given a detailed plan for self-improvement in order to regain custody. This could include anything from getting and keeping a job to entering and completing rehabilitation for an addiction. Sometimes reunification of the foster child with the biological parent isn't possible. When this is the case, the foster child can be adopted into a permanent forever-family.
To become a state-approved foster parent, licensing is essential. Each state has its own set of requirements. This will most likely include a home study--an intensive examination of the home life, family members, and finances--to make sure that each applicant is qualified.