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Our Services:  Becoming a Foster Parent:  General Requirements

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General Requirements for Foster Caregivers and Applicants
[Click here to read this information on the State of Ohio's web site]

(A) A foster caregiver or applicant shall be at least twenty-one years of age at the time of initial certification.

(B) At least one foster caregiver or applicant in the home shall be able to read, write, and speak in English or be able to effectively communicate with any child placed in their home and with the recommending agency.

(C) A foster caregiver or applicant may be a legally married couple, a single person or co-parent(s).

(D) A foster caregiver or applicant shall have an income sufficient to meet the basic needs of the household and to make timely payment of shelter costs, utility bills, and other debts.

(E) A foster caregiver or applicant and all members of the foster caregiverís or applicantís household shall be free of any physical, emotional, or mental condition which would endanger a child or seriously impair the ability of the foster caregiver or applicant to care for a foster child.
 

(F) An applicant shall have a JFS 01653 ďMedical Statement for Foster Care/Adoptive Applicant and All Household MembersĒ (rev. 1/2002) completed for the applicant and all household members by a licensed physician, physician assistant, clinical nurse specialist, certified nurse practitioner, or certified nurse-midwife within six months prior to the agencyís initial recommendation for certification. Any written documentation of the physical examination shall be completed by the individual who conducted the examination.

(G) An applicant may be required to secure and provide a report in addition to the JFS 01653 of an examination of any member of the household by a licensed physician, psychologist, or other certified or licensed professional if:

(1) An applicant or any person residing within the household has suffered a serious illness or injury within the past year; or

(2) The recommending agency determines it to be necessary to ensure the safety, health, or care of any foster child who may be placed in the home.

(H) Except as provided in paragraph (I) of this rule, a foster caregiver or applicant and all other persons eighteen years of age or older who reside with the foster caregiver or applicant shall not have been convicted of or pleaded guilty to any of the offenses listed in paragraph (J) of this rule.

(I) No person who has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to an offense listed in paragraph (J) of this rule shall be certified as a foster caregiver or be an adult resident of the foster caregiverís household unless the recommending agency finds and documents that person has met all of the following conditions:

(1) Where the offense was a misdemeanor, or would have been a misdemeanor if conviction had occurred under the current criminal code, at least three years have elapsed from the date the person was fully discharged from any imprisonment or probation arising from the conviction. A person who has had his record of misdemeanor conviction sealed by a court pursuant to section 2953.32 of the Revised Code shall be considered to have met this condition.

(2) Where the offense was a felony, at least ten years have elapsed since the person was fully discharged from imprisonment or probation.

(3) The victim of the offense was not one of the following:

(a) A person under the age of eighteen.

(b) A functionally impaired person as defined in section 2903.10 of the Revised Code.

(c) A mentally retarded person as defined in section 5123.01 of the Revised Code.

(d) A developmentally disabled person as defined in section 5123.01 of the Revised Code.

(e) A person with a mental illness as defined in section 5122.01 of the Revised Code.

(f) A person sixty years of age or older.

(4) The personís certification as a foster caregiver or the personís residency in the foster caregiverís household will not jeopardize in any way the health, safety or welfare of the children the agency serves. The following factors shall be considered in determining the personís certification as a foster caregiver or the personís residency in the foster caregiverís household.

(a) The personís age at the time of the offense.

(b) The nature and seriousness of the offense.

(c) The circumstances under which the offense was committed.

(d) The degree of participation of the person involved in the offense.

(e) The time elapsed since the person was fully discharged from imprisonment or probation.

(f) The likelihood that the circumstance leading to the offense will recur.

(g) Whether the person is a repeat offender.

(h) The personís employment record.

(i) The personís efforts at rehabilitation and the results of those efforts.

(j) Whether any criminal proceedings are pending against the person.

(k) Whether the person has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a felony contained in the Revised Code that is not listed in paragraph (J) of this rule, if the felony bears a direct and substantial relationship to being a foster caregiver or adult member of the caregiverís household.

(l) Any other factors the agency considers relevant.

(J) Except as provided in paragraph (I) of this rule, a foster caregiver, applicant or other adult resident of the foster caregiverís household shall not have been convicted of or pleaded guilty to, any of the following offenses:

(1) A violation of section 2903.01, 2903.02, 2903.03, 2903.04, 2903.11, 2903.12, 2903.13, 2903.16, 2903.21, 2903.34, 2905.01, 2905.02, 2905.05, 2907.02, 2907.03, 2907.04, 2907.05, 2907.06, 2907.07, 2907.08, 2907.09, 2907.21, 2907.22, 2907.23, 2907.25, 2907.31, 2907.32, 2907.321 (2907.32.1), 2907.322 (2907.32.2), 2907.323 (2907.32.3), 2909.02, 2909.03, 2911.01, 2911.02, 2911.11, 2911.12, 2919.12, 2919.22, 2919.24, 2919.25, 2923.12, 2923.13, 2923.161 (2923.16.1), 2925.02, 2925.03, 2925.04, 2925.05, 2925.06, or 3716.11 of the Revised Code, a violation of section 2905.04 of the Revised Code as it existed prior to July 1, 1996, a violation of section 2919.23 of the Revised Code that would have been a violation of section 2905.04 of the Revised Code as it existed prior to July 1, 1996, had the violation been committed prior to that date, a violation of section 2925.11 of the Revised Code that is not a minor drug possession offense, or felonious sexual penetration in violation of former section 2907.12 of the Revised Code as listed in APPENDIX A to this rule.

(2) A violation of an existing or former law of this state, any other state, or the United States that is substantially equivalent to any of the offenses listed in paragraphs (J)(1) and (J)(2) of this rule.

(K) It is the applicantís or foster caregiverís duty to provide verification to the recommending agency that the conditions specified in paragraph (I) of this rule are met for that person and for all adult members of the household. If the applicant or foster caregiver fails to provide such proof or if the agency determines that the proof offered by the person is inconclusive or insufficient, the applicant shall be denied certification and a foster caregiverís certificate shall be recommended for denial or revocation pursuant to rule 5101:2-5-26 of the Administrative Code.

(L) To determine whether a prospective foster caregiver is qualified to be certified as a foster caregiver pursuant to paragraph (J) of this rule, a criminal records check shall be conducted for the prospective foster caregiver and each adult member of the household pursuant to rule 5101:2-5-09.1 of the Administrative Code.

(M) An agency shall not approve a prospective foster caregiver on a conditional basis awaiting the results of the criminal records check required by paragraph (L) of this rule. The required criminal records check must be completed prior to an agency recommending a prospective foster caregiver for certification.

(N) The provisions of paragraph (I) of this rule must be considered for any applicant or foster caregiver and any other person eighteen years of age or older who resides with the applicant or foster caregiver and who has been convicted of, or pleaded guilty to, one or more of the offenses listed in paragraph (J) of this rule, even if the personís record has been sealed by a court pursuant to section 2953.32 of the Revised Code because the information contained in the sealed record bears a direct and substantial relationship to the care to be provided to any foster child who may be placed in the home.

(O) A conviction of, or plea of guilty to, an offense listed in paragraph (J) of this rule shall not prevent a personís certification as a foster caregiver or being an adult household member of the home if the person has been granted an unconditional pardon for the offense pursuant to Chapter 2967. of the Revised Code or the conviction or guilty plea has been set aside pursuant to law. ďUnconditional pardonĒ includes a conditional pardon with respect to which all conditions have been performed or transpired.

(P) A foster caregiver or prospective foster caregiver shall notify the recommending agency in writing if a person at least twelve years of age, but less than eighteen years of age, residing with the foster caregiver or prospective foster caregiver has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to any of the offenses listed in APPENDIX A to this rule, or has been adjudicated to be a delinquent child for committing an act that if committed by an adult would have constituted such a violation.

ODJFS shall deny a foster home certificate on the grounds that a person at least twelve years of age but less than eighteen years of age residing with the foster caregiver or prospective foster caregiver has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to an offense listed in appendix A of this rule or has been adjudicated to be a delinquent child for committing an act that if committed by an adult would have constituted such an offense, unless the agency establishes that the delinquent child meets the rehabilitation provisions of paragraphs (I)(3) and (I)(4) of this rule. In considering the provisions of paragraphs (I)(3) and (I)(4) of this rule, the agency shall view these provisions considering the age of the delinquent child involved and the age and sex of children that are or would be placed in the foster home.

(Q) A foster caregiver shall not operate a foster home as an adult boarding or rooming house.

(R) A foster caregiver shall obtain written approval from the recommending agency prior to conducting any business, or allowing any business to operate, including babysitting services, in a foster home.

(S) A foster caregiver shall not provide or allow babysitting services in a foster home when more than ten children, including foster, natural or adoptive children are present and under the supervision of the foster caregiver at any one time. Any foster caregiver that is an approved or certified type B family day care home provider shall follow the requirements for approval or certification as a type B family day care home.

(T) A foster caregiver or applicant shall obtain an approved inspection by a state certified fire safety inspector or the state fire marshalís office certifying that the foster home is free from conditions hazardous to the safety of foster children. The approval must have occurred within six months prior to the initial recommendation for certification of the applicantís home by the agency and within ninety days of any change of address of the foster home.

(U) If the applicant or foster caregiver is unable to obtain an inspection as required by paragraph (T) of this rule due to the unavailability of a state certified fire safety inspector or the state fire marshalís office they shall so notify the agency.

(V) A foster caregiver or applicant shall complete all preplacement and continuing training as required by rule 5101:2-5-33 of the Administrative Code and any additional hours of training required by the recommending agencyís written training plan.

(W) A foster caregiver or applicant shall comply with all agency policies or instructions including cooperating fully with the agency during the certification or recertification process.

CLICK HERE FOR APPENDIX A:  OFFENSES LISTED IN PARAGRAPHS (J) AND (P) OF RULE 5101:2-7-02 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE CODE


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