We strive to be Colorado’s leading provider of quality, comprehensive, foster care services in three ways:
- We know ‘the system’ is complex, so we provide you with solid information throughout the certification process.
- We understand you are looking for guidance so we are committed to providing you with excellent training.
- We feel that each family is unique so we work hard to place each child in the best home.
Our experience with this 6-Step process helps to make Bridges the trusted choice in foster care for Southern Colorado families.
1. Informal Interview >>
Our informal interview is an excellent opportunity for you to meet with one of our home coordinators, get your questions answered and learn more about the Bridges approach to foster care. You can openly discuss your hopes, dreams, hesitations, and fears at this interview.
2. Application >>
During your informal interview our home coordinator will help you determine if it is the right time to begin the process. If you decide together that the time is right, they will provide you with an application packet. The journey begins for real once you return the completed application and related materials.
3. Training >>
The training process is a time you to explore foster care much more in depth. It is also a time for our family to get to know your family. By the time you have completed training we anticipate that you will be prepared to decide if your family is ready to foster. Bridges requires each foster family to complete 27 hours of initial training including 12 hours of core training. All initial training is available directly from Bridges and includes topics like Child Development, Family Relationships, Abuse/Neglect, Discipline Interventions, Administrative topics, First Aid/CPR, State Rules and Regulations and Bridges Policies and Procedures.
4. Certification >>
When your family has completed training and chooses to continue toward certification, Bridges will begin the next step in the certification process, completing a home study. You will need to be fingerprinted and we will run background checks through various government agencies like CBI/FBI, local law enforcement, etc. (While we mention this here, you will actually probably start the background checks even before you begin training because this can be a time consuming process.) You will be asked to complete questionnaires and our staff will interview you regarding many aspects of your childhood and current family life. Our staff will also inspect the physical environment of your home. The home study combined with our time together in training will help us determine your readiness to foster as well as the type of child that will best fit in your family. When all of these are completed and submitted to the State yours will be a “certified” foster home.
5. Placement >>
Once your home is open you need to remain ready to receive a child into your home. You will receive a call from one of our placement workers who will provide you with as much information as we are afforded regarding the child’s background and current circumstances leading to the need for placement. You will have limited time to determine whether or not your family will be able to care for the child or children. Our home coordinators and placement workers will help you through the transition and visit your home on a regular basis to continue to provide your family with the care and support that you will need.
6. Caregiving >>
Now you will begin “day to day” life, which is anything but typical for a foster family. Early in placement you will need to schedule and attend medical appointments, appointments with caseworkers, which may include members of the child’s family of origin; make arrangements with the child’s school, therapist, Guardian ad Litem, etc. Our agency staff is never more than a phone call away to help in any way that we can. We will also visit you and the children in your home each month.
Take the first step: Schedule your informal interview today!
*Remember, the informal interview is not a commitment to become a foster family. It is just the first step to researching and understanding what the process means for you. There are no expectations or requirements. Our home coordinators are available to answer your questions as you build the confidence to move forward.