I want to become a foster parent
Unfortunately, not every child is lucky enough to grow up in a stable and warm environment. There may be different reasons for this, but in such a case it’s in the best interests of the child to be (temporarily) placed with a loving foster family.
Figures show that there is an increasing shortage of foster families. Becoming a foster parent may be something for you. Has your last child left the nest? Do you have an unfulfilled child wish? Or do you have plenty of room in your heart and home? Then foster care is an option worth considering.
Different forms of foster care
As a foster family you open your home to one or more children. However, foster guests (adults with a disability and/or a psychiatric background) can also be placed with a foster family. In some cases, a foster child will live with the foster parents for a long period of time, in other cases, the foster period will only last a few weeks or months.
Long-term foster care
The child stays with a family for a longer period of time, if he/she cannot stay at home. A foster family placement of more than one year is considered long-term foster care. If possible, the child maintains contact with his/her parents.
Short-term foster care
The purpose is to swiftly provide the child with a clear and sustainable solution: a return to the parental home, long-term placement with a foster family, or placement in another facility ... Short-term foster care typically lasts several months.
Supportive foster care
This type of foster care gives children who have been placed in a facility full-time the opportunity of spending a weekend or holiday somewhere else. It can also provide a solution in the event that a vulnerable parent (with no social network of their own) is temporarily unable to take care of their child.
Emergency foster care
Children or adults who require urgent and prompt foster placement due to a crisis situation can be placed with an emergency foster family. The child (or adult in the case of adult foster care) can usually return home following a short stay. If this isn’t possible, then a long-term solution will be sought.
Clearly, not everyone can just become a foster parent. You will have to meet a number of conditions. You must be of adult age (at least 18 years old), be able to produce a Model II Criminal Record extract, be able to offer the child structure and security, and, of course, have sufficient accommodation.
Do you meet these criteria? Then you can contact a foster care service and submit an application. After a few info sessions, you need to go through an extensive preparatory period that will take 4 to 6 months.
Detailed information on the procedure to follow can be found on:
Are you, as a foster parent, entitled to child benefit?
Yes. Each month you will receive the basic amount of the Growth Package to help you shoulder the costs of your foster child.
- Flanders: 169,79 euros
- Wallonia: 161,26 euros (0-17 years of age) en 171,67 euros (18-24 years of age)
- Brussels: the amount depends on your family situation and income
In Flanders, foster parents are also entitled to a supplementary foster care allowance. This is also included in the Growth Package.
In Brussels and Wallonia, the biological parents, if approved by foster care, are also entitled to a flat rate amount intended to enable them to maintain or promote contact with their child.