Foster Care

Thank You for Your Interest!

24-Hour Foster Care & Adoption Inquiry Line: (330) 379-1990

Below (and on subsequent pages) you will find lots of information to help you determine if foster care and adoption is right for you and your family.  Please spend some time reviewing all the material and checking out the links.  If you are unsure about something or have questions, feel free to contact us … our information is below. 

What is Foster Care?
Foster care, by definition, is temporary care provided to children. Foster care placements can last overnight or for more than a year. Children are removed from their homes when they are abused, neglected or are identified as being dependent and their parents are unable to care for them safely at the time of placement. If no relative is available or identified for placement, children are placed on a temporary basis with foster parents. Summit County Children Services prioritizes keeping children in their own neighborhoods and schools. 
Download informational brochure.

Why is Foster Care needed?
Because of the opioid crisis, mental health concerns, other substance abuse issues and complex family dynamics, we have seen a drastic increase of children entering agency custody over the last several years.  Currently, there are more than 800 children who are in the custody of SCCS and are all in need of a safe, loving, caring family.  Close to 40% of children are placed with kinship or non-kinship homes; however, the remaining children need foster homes.  SCCS currently has approximately 170 foster homes … not nearly enough.

What is the current need?
SCCS has an urgent need for foster families to care for all ages of children, but there is a
increased need for families to care for:

  • Newborns and toddlers
  • Sibling groups (brothers and sisters who should remain together)
  • Teenagers (12 and older)

Who can become a Foster Parent?
To become a licensed foster parent, you can/must be:

  • Married, single, divorced or widowed;
  • With or without children of your own;
  • A renter or homeowner;
  • 18 years or older;
  • Employed or a stay-at-home parent – as long as your income can adequately meet your household needs;
  • Committed to caring for children;
  • Able to accept children as they are;
  • Able to provide support and be a strong role model of positive family life.
  • IMPORTANT:  Summit County Children Services only licenses foster-to-adopt homes in the following counties in the State of Ohio:  Summit, Cuyahoga, Medina, Portage, Stark and Wayne.  If you do not live in one of these Ohio counties, please contact the children services agency within the county/state you live.

What is your role as a Foster Parent?
As a foster parent, you …

  • Are a vital part of the SCCS team that helps to provides services to children and families.
  • Provide a loving, safe and nurturing home for children as long as they are placed in your care.
  • Work with biological families to help them in their efforts with reunification.
  • Work with SCCS to meet the child’s needs and support the birth family.
  • Support your fellow foster parents in their journey by serving as mentors, providing respite care, etc.
What is the Process to become a Foster Parent?
Staff members at SCCSs are committed to working closely with families throughout the foster care process. Click here to learn more about the process.
 
Available Support for Foster Parents
Summit County Children Services provide the following support to foster parents:
  • Personal support from an assigned Foster Home Coordinator
  • Ongoing training opportunities
  • Holiday & special occasion support
  • Monthly board checks
  • Funds for clothing
  • Medical, dental and vision care for children
  • Mileage reimbursement
  • Opportunity to become actively involved with the Summit County Foster Parent Association
  • NEW - Open Hearts & Open Hands Foster, Kinship & Adoptive Parents Support Group

For more information, contact:
Summit County Children Services
Telephone: (330) 379-1990
Fax: (330) 379-1924
Email: Summit-PCSA-inquiry@summitkids.org