Since 1978, National Youth Advocate Program (NYAP) has made it our mission toward becoming an instrument of change in the lives of youth within the communities we call home. Throughout the last year, our youth across the nation have been hit hard during the pandemic as the number of youth entering foster care has continually increased each day. With more than 400,000 foster youth living in the United States, we need loving and caring foster parents now more than ever.
By becoming a NYAP foster parent, you have the opportunity to provide a safe and secure space for our youth and siblings who need it most. In this time of uncertainty, any chance of some stability will go a long way in the well-being of our community – not to mention, you’re able to lift up the heads of these youth at such an impressionable age, showing them that there is hope for the future.
So where do you start? We’ve put together the 6 main steps to help you begin your foster parent journey with NYAP!
Step 1 – Connect with NYAP: Call your local NYAP office or complete our Foster Parent Inquiry Form to start the process. We will mail you a packet of information about NYAP, and someone from our team will contact you to answer any questions you may have.
Step 2 – Attend a NYAP Orientation: NYAP periodically holds virtual New Foster Parent Orientations to give those who are considering foster parenting a forum to openly ask questions and talk to other parents going through the same process. You’ll meet the team of professional foster care staff who will be there with you every step of the way.
Check our trainings and events calendar or call your local office to schedule a time to meet with someone from our team.
Step 3 – Review NYAP Documentation: One of our licensed NYAP staff will meet with you to discuss the state requirements for foster parents, as well as review any important documentation with you.
Step 4 – Attend A NYAP Foster Parent Training Class: Every foster parent is required to complete a certain number of pre-service training classes. In these classes, you will learn what foster parenting is all about, expectations, obligations and the challenges and rewards of being a foster parent.
You will also learn how to work with the biological parent(s), how to help the youth adjust, parenting, family dynamics and so much more.
Step 5 – Complete A Family Assessment or Home Study: Your NYAP team will arrange for visits to interview you any other family members or residents in the home, including those who are 18 or older. This will be required to pass a universal background check to ensure safety for the youth placed in your home.
Step 6 – A Youth is Placed in Your Home: We’ll work with you to begin looking for a youth, teen or sibling group that is a good fit for you and your family. If the match is right, they’ll come to stay with you until they are reunited with their biological family, a relative or if not available, permanently adopted by your family (if you choose).
NYAP will guide you through visitation schedules with birth parents and siblings and will continue to support you as you foster the youth.
When you welcome a youth or siblings into your home, you show them bold love and provide comfort and stability as their family works together to be reunified again. Not to mention, NYAP is there for every step of the way – especially when it comes to our foster parents making an impact.