There are many children in Hawai`i who, for reasons beyond their control, are unable to live with their parents or guardians. These children are sometimes placed in foster homes.
There are several different foster care agencies in Hawaii, which are listed on our Resources page
Some of the basic requirements for foster homes are listed below. Please be aware that each agency may also have additional requirements; contact them for more information.
Basic Foster Home Requirements:
- Initial pre-service training
- Must be licensed by one of the foster care agencies in Hawaii
- Can be married, single, divorced, or widowed
- Must be at least 21 years old
- Health screening/physical
- TB clearance for all members of the household
- No more then five (5) foster children in a home
- Criminal and CPS clearances to assure that family does not pose a risk to children in care.
- Employment and character references
- Steady income sufficient to maintain an adequate standard of living for the family
- Employment of a foster parent shall not interfere with the care of the children
- Adequate living space and sanitary living conditions
- Each child shall have a bed (bunk beds ok). Beds shall be spaced at least three feet apart.
- If sharing a room, children over age six need to be rooming with a child of the same sex
- No foster child shall sleep in a detached building, unfurnished attic, basement, hallway or stairwell
There are two types of foster care, regular or therapeutic. Here is a basic description of each:
Regular Foster Care
Most of the children in regular foster care are with the Department of Human Services (DHS). They are removed from their homes as a result of abuse or neglect. These children may range in ages from infant to 18 years old. Depending on the child’s situation, placement may be anywhere from several days to a more permanent situation. We encourage prospective foster parents to call each of the agencies listed under RESOURCES for more information. Reimbursement for care for these children ranges from $529 or higher per month, depending on the needs of the child. Vouchers or reimbursement is also provided for a certain amount of clothing expenses.
Therapeutic Foster Care
Children in therapeutic foster care are referred to agencies by the Department of Health; they may or may not be involved with Child Protective Services. These children are either high special- needs infants or are children who have been identified by the school system as having emotional or behavioral problems that can not be handled in their own home. They are placed with specially trained families to learn to manage their emotions or behaviors with the hopes of returning home. Typically, while the child works with the foster parents, training or other services are also provided to the biological family or guardians to increase their ability to care for the child. Agencies who deal with therapeutic foster care provide an intensive training for prospective foster parents and ongoing services to support the foster family. A child can be expected to stay in your home for anywhere from several days to at most, 18 months. Reimbursement is $529 plus a stipend and is determined by each individual agency.