Foster Mom helps Youth with homework - Teens Need Foster Parents 

Foster Parenting & Adoption

Boulder County's Three60° Family Support Program, including foster, kinship, respite care and adoption from foster care, is a program based on the cooperation between families to build a stronger community.

As a prospective foster parent, someone interested in adopting from Foster Care, or a future volunteer who wants to support foster families in the amazing work they do, you will find information here to get going.

Please take a moment to meet our children waiting for an adoptive home.

If you're ready to learn even more at an Orientation, use the 'Register' tab below, on the right, to check dates and sign up online.

 Foster Parenting


Foster Parenting

Foster parents provide temporary care of a child or children while supporting family and agency efforts to reunify the parents with their children. Most children served by the agency remain at home, but for those children whose safety requires temporary removal, the goal is always to reunite the family.

Boulder County needs foster families to serve children of all ages and their families. The children most in need of your help, though, are adolescents, siblings who wish to stay together in foster care, and children with special needs. If you can help, contact us right now.

Many foster parents hold the hope of adopting a child. For some foster families this is possible. All families are initially certified exclusively for foster care. In the event that a child or children in their care is unable to return to her/his parents, that foster home may be asked to be the permanent family for the child or children.

Eligibility

All legal residents 21 years of age or older are eligible to apply to become foster parents. You should have a stable income and health sufficient to support your family.

Goals

Our hope is that every child who enters our care leaves with more healthy adults in her/his life than when s/he came in. To that end we go to great lengths to help our foster families:

  • Provide a home with structure, nurturance, and guidance for a child in crisis
  • Support the agency’s work toward reuniting the child and parents
  • Protect and maintain the child’s best interests
  • Form a healthy, lasting bond with the child and her/his family

Supports & Benefits

Boulder County provides:

  • Financial support to assist with additional costs, including Medicaid coverage for all children who enter foster care
  • Education/Support Groups
  • YMCA discounts
  • Substantial training and educational resources
  • Rewarding and enriching relationships and experiences
  • Every resource family is assigned a support worker to help them achieve their goals

See expanded list of supports (386 kb) and benefits.

 Specialized Foster Care


Specialized Foster Care

Specialized Foster Families provide the structure, guidance, and access to services that allow children with complex behaviors to live in the community. Read Adam's Story (770 kb) to learn more.

Boulder County is currently seeking Specialized Foster Families to serve children in Foster Care.

In becoming a Specialized Foster Family, all the same certification requirements of foster and respite care apply, but we look for specialized experience, skills, and training that families can apply toward the care of a child. Furthermore, there are additional ongoing training requirements to maintain certification. Read more about certification in the 'How to Start' tab, but if you would like to discuss becoming a specialized foster family, contact us today.

The supports that are available to all our certified families are largely determined by the needs of the child(ren) they care for; as such, Specialized Foster Families may be entitled to the full spectrum of available supports, including a higher level of financial reimbursement. Learn more about this at Orientation. You can sign up for Orientation using the 'Register' tab.

It is not uncommon for foster families to choose to partner with Boulder County from among the options along Colorado's Front Range. Boulder County has earned its reputation for a selflessly dedicated staff, and relentless endeavoring to create a safe and thriving community.

 Respite or Volunteer


Respite & Volunteer Support

Boulder County Foster Families have a tough job. To help them, Housing & Human Services expanded the role of Respite Care Providers, and created a volunteer position called Foster Family Helper.

Respite Care Provider

Respite care providers offer a self-described range of services to support families in the community. This includes, but is not limited to, babysitting, or mentoring a child or family.

Additionally, you can use your certification to help in other ways. With certification, you have the training and full support of our agency to help families in a way that meets their needs and yours. Family & Children Services will help match your skill with a family that needs it.

Foster Parent Helper

Similarly, Foster Parent Helpers play a support role to foster families that is arranged on a case-by-case basis, but with several important distinctions. Foster Parent Helpers:

  • Do not provide childcare in their own homes, as their homes are not certified
  • Complete relevant elements of a Home Study
  • Have the support of the Volunteer Services Office

This rewarding volunteer opportunity is a good option for people who want to be involved in this cause, but are not currently in a position to be a foster parent or respite care provider. You can read more on the Volunteer Opportunities page.

Goal

For both Respite Care Providers and Foster Parent Helpers, the goals are the same:

  • Support families and foster families
  • Put your unique set of skills to the service of families in your community
  • Build supportive relationships between adults and children, and between families

How To Get Started

The process to become a respite care provider is exactly the same as that of becoming a foster parent. More information is available under the 'How to Start' tab. The same Supports and Benefits (387 KB) that are available to foster parents are available to respite care providers. Respite Care Providers' homes are certified, so Respite Care Providers can care for children in their own homes.

Though ultimately shorter, the process to become a Foster Parent Helper begins in the same way as that of becoming a Respite Care provider or foster parent--by attending Orientation. Check dates and sign up using the 'Register' tab.

 Adoption


Adoption from Foster Care

For all children who enter foster care, promptly achieving stability and lasting family connections is the top priority of the agency.

Adoption from foster care occurs when all efforts to reunite parents with their child or children have been exhausted. A family adopts a child from foster care either by fostering the child first, or by applying to adopt a waiting child. Read more about fostering in the 'Foster Parenting' tab.

Most families that partner with Boulder County are initially certified for foster care. If a child in their care is unable to return to her/his parents or to live with extended family, then that foster family is typically asked to consider becoming an adoptive family for that child.

Some families partner with us to parent our children waiting for adoption. These families do not become foster parents that serve children by supporting reunification; rather, these families devote themselves to a particular child in need of an adoptive family.

As with the certification process for foster care, the process to become approved for adoption begins when you attend an Orientation. Check dates and register online using the 'Register' tab.

 How To Start


Process to become a foster/ respite/ adoptive provider: 

  1. Attend an Orientation,
  2. Attend Core Training,
  3. Submit your Application,
  4. Complete the Home Study,
  5. Certification.

Orientation

Orientation is held once a month. It is a three-hour program overview and counts toward your training hours. Orientation covers the philosophy of the program, the specifics of becoming a foster parent, and is an opportunity to ask questions of staff and foster parents. Sign up using the 'Register' tab.

Core Training

Core Training is three full days, and completes your pre-certification training. Core Training covers child development and the effects of grief and trauma on development, addiction and recovery, positive parenting, and the legal responsibilities of foster parents. Core Training is offered every other month, on a Friday and two Saturdays. At Core Training, you will receive a copy of the Foster Care and Adoption application, and we request that you submit your completed application on the third day of Training.

Please register for Core Training online, or contact us for dates and location information for Core Training.

Submit Your Application

Submitting your state of Colorado Application (954 kb) to Care for Children, and supplementary Boulder County forms, is an important part of the process. When we receive your completed application, we can assign a Home Study Worker to begin the Home Study.

The Home Study

The Home Study involves a series of interviews, questionnaires, and a home safety inspection as part of the Structured Analysis Family Evaluation (SAFE) Home Study process.

Additionally, as part of the Home Study, every family must complete full background checks (even if you have recently done them through work or another agency).

CPR/First Aid certification is required, as well. However, for this, you may use a pre-existing certification, obtain your own, or use the service we provide.

The home study is a collaborative process, not a simple evaluation. It provides the basis of your partnership with the agency.

The process, from Orientation to Certification, takes most families about four months.

Certification

Upon completion of the Home Study, you will have an opportunity to read the worker's report before it goes to a committee of our staff that makes the decision to certify or deny a family, or recommend further work be done in the Home Study. By far, most families whose studies go to committee are certified.

Once certified, you stay in communication with your newly assigned support worker as your availability to accept the placement of a child changes with the contours of your life. It may be hours, or months, before you receive your first call. Much of this depends on the breadth of children and families you are willing to serve, but it also depends on the unpredictable nature of child welfare. While the demand for foster families is always present, the particular needs can change month to month.

 Register


Register for Orientation

The first step in getting involved, whether to be a Foster Parent, a Foster Parent Helper, or to Adopt a Waiting Child, is to attend Orientation. Use the form below to register.

Orientations are held monthly, in Boulder, from 5-8pm. They are co-facilitated by staff and foster parents to provide a rich, clear sense of the program, and provide an opportunity for you to get answers to your questions. Upon submitting your registration, you should receive confirmation within two working days. Be sure to check your junk mail box, and if you still haven't seen a response, contact us.



Fill out my online form.

Contacts

Three60° Family Support

Phone: 303-441-1081
Fax: 303-441-1289
Email

Mailing Address

3400 Broadway
Boulder, CO 80304

Boulder

3400 Broadway
Office Hours: 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. M-F

Boulder County HHS Logo
Follow