Q1. Are you in need of foster providers in the I/DD (Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities) program?
A1. Yes, but we generally recruit for foster providers who have experience supporting children with intellectual and developmental disabilities in some capacity. Experience providing foster care is also desirable. The majority of the children needing I/DD foster care placement are generally ages 12 and older, but sometimes younger. Some I/DD Child foster homes specialize in providing medically focused care and those homes have additional certification requirements. Medical placements are rarer.
Q2. What are you looking for in an I/DD Child Foster Care provider?
A2. The program prioritizes certification of foster families who can support children who engage in challenging behaviors, which may include physical aggression, verbal aggression, property destruction, running away, theft, and at risk sexualized behaviors. Some children are at risk of or may already be involved in the juvenile justice system. Children often require high levels of supervision for needs related to Autism, Fetal Alcohol Effects and co-occurring mental health diagnoses. Not all children placed in foster care through the I/DD program have such high needs, but it is less common. While every child is unique, the more a foster provider understands how intellectual and developmental disabilities influence a child’s way of understanding and experiencing the world, the greater the likelihood of a successful placement.
In addition, understanding the impact of trauma and how to care for a child who has been exposed to traumatic experiences is a critical skill in any foster parenting endeavor. Children and their caregivers do better when we switch the question from “what is wrong with the child?” to one of asking “what has happened to the child?” With the right structure, consistency, support, and help of a skilled provider in a stable home, ideally these behaviors will lessen and no longer be necessary in order for a child to feel safe. Many behaviors seen in foster children are due to their not having a sense of safety or power over their lives.
Q3. If I do not have the experience you require, how can I get it?
A3. You might consider providing foster care through another agency such as one through the FosterPlus program. In addition, if you currently know a foster parent certified through the I/DD program, you might explore becoming a respite or alternate care provider for them. Many foster parents in our program got their start that way.
Q4. Where can I find the specific rules and requirements for I/DD Certified Child Foster Providers?
A4. The rules that govern selection and certification, in addition to specific care requirements of an I/ DD Certified Child Foster Care Provider, are outlined in Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR’s) 411-346-0100 through 411-346-0230.
Q5. What is required of my home?
A5. There must be a dedicated bedroom for a foster child. While foster children are permitted to share bedrooms, it is rare and most children benefit from having their own space. Bedrooms used by children in foster care must not be located on a third story or higher. They should also be in close enough proximity to the provider to alert the provider of any nighttime care needs for the child. Chimneys and fireplaces must be inspected by a qualified inspector. There must be a size 2:A:10:B:C fire extinguisher located on each floor. A carbon monoxide detector must be placed in each bedroom or within 15 feet of every bedroom.
Q6. How many foster children may I be certified for?
A6. The I/DD Child Foster Care OAR’s state that there will be no more than four children (biological and foster combined) in a home for a single caregiver and no more than seven for a dual parent household. Due to the high level of support needs for children placed in I/ DD Child Foster Care most homes are certified for one to two foster children, occasionally up to three. This number is assessed on an individual, case-by-case basis.
Q7. If I meet the initial requirements what is the process and timeline to become DD Certified?
A7. If the initial screening determines your skills, experience, and desires meet the program’s current needs, you will be contacted to discuss orientation appointment in your home. The certification process takes 6 months to a year to complete, on average. Any adult living in the home who will have caregiving responsibilities must attend the classes and complete the certification process.
Q8. What does the Pre-Service Training requirement look like?
A8. There is a combination of independent learning assignments and 8 in-class sessions held on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month, in Gresham, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. * With steady attendance, it takes 4 months to complete all 8 classes. The classes are geared to train applicants on the I/DD Child Foster Care program expectations and philosophy. It is also an opportunity for both you and the program to further evaluate if this program is the right fit for you. Participation in the classes does not guarantee certification.
*Subject to change
Q9. What kind of supports do children in DD Foster Care receive?
A9. All I/DD eligible children will be paired with an I/ DD Services Coordinator and will receive case management services through the local County Developmental Disabilities Program (CDDP). Children in I/ DD foster care have a written Individual Support Plan (ISP) that outlines their daily support needs including preferred activities, short and long term goals, at risk behaviors, supervision guidelines, family involvement, activities of daily living (ADL) supports such as hygiene, dressing, eating and more. A number of children will also have a written Positive Behavior Support Plan (PBSP) that guides caregivers on how to structure the environment and their approach to help a child learn safe and more effective alternatives to challenging behaviors. *
*If a child engages in physical aggression, self-injurious behaviors, or lacks street safety skills (i.e. running out into streets, running from you in a parking lot, etc.) they may have a Safeguarding Intervention written into their PBSP. Any foster child with approved Safeguarding Interventions must be supported by a caregiver who has been trained in OIS (Oregon Intervention Systems). OIS is a 2 day, 16 hour course on the process for quickly assessing challenging behavior, implementing Positive Behavior Supports (PBS) and if necessary, safe interventions in community programs (such as foster care). Even if you never support a child who needs Safeguarding Interventions, being OIS trained is highly recommended for I/DD Child Foster Parents.
A The service payment for a child will be determined by the current I/DD rate tool. The support needs identified in the rate tool will be documented in the child’s ISP and PBSP. Most children in I/DD foster care also qualify for an SSI (Supplemental Security Income) equivalent payment to cover Room and Board expenses and provide personal spending money for the child.
Q.10 Is respite care provided through the I/DD Child Foster Care Program?
A10. The short answer is no. However, you are required to have a respite care plan and your service payment for care should allow you the ability to pay someone to serve in that capacity. You WILL need a break and emergencies happen. You MUST have someone who can take care of your foster child when you are unable to or when you simply need to take a break. You will have the responsibility to train that caregiver on the requirements you are held to. This is a big responsibility of our I/DD Foster Care providers.
Thank you for your interest in i/dd children’s foster care
Please call the I/DD Child Foster Home Recruiter at 503-988-6394 with any additional questions.