Currently, there are about 3,000 children in the great Clark County area in need of foster care. These children range in age from toddlers to teenagers and are constantly in search of a place to stay before they are either returned to their biological parents or are adopted out to caring families in search of a child. As it stands, the average length of time a child spends in foster care is 23.6 months/two years with 14% of those children spending that time in a facility other than that of a family foster home.
To help make the transition easier on these children, Nevada has installed a foster program that helps to invest in the future of the children. The program provides temporary care with families that provide strength and support. Nevada provides education and training to families who are interested in helping a child and want to become a foster family.
How do I qualify for Foster Care in Nevada?
To participate in the program, the individual or family must either be:
- Clark County residents
- Married couple
- Non-married couple but only one of the parents may adopt the child
- Single female
- Single male
- Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender individuals and couples
- Individuals 21 years of age or older
- A ten-year age difference between the child and the adopting parent is required for adoption ·
- Individuals with disabilities
The training to become a foster parent begins with an information session which describes the foster system as a whole. From there, the process shifts to the screening of the prospective foster parent. If approved, the potential foster family will attend a 30-hour training course, the completion of which will yield a license to provide foster care.
Nevada's state welfare system is obligated by federal law to provide payments to foster parents to cover the basic needs of children in their foster care which includes, food, shelter, clothing and school supplies. Currently, Nevada provides the following payments:
Age 0 – 12 Years: $543.19 + Monthly Personal Incidentals 11.00, yielding a *Monthly Base Rate Subtotal: $554.19 with a Monthly Clothing Allowance of 37.50 for a TOTAL MONTHLY PAYMENT: $591.69
Age 13 & Older Monthly Board & Care $603.67 Monthly Personal Incidentals 22.00 *Monthly Base Rate Subtotal: $625.67 with a Monthly Clothing Allowance $56.25 for a TOTAL MONTHLY PAYMENT: $681.92
With the amount of children needing care, the foster program is of increasing importance. National statistics show that each year, an estimated 20,000 young people age out, or graduate out, of the U.S. foster care system. Many of these people are only 18 years old and still in need of support and services due to statistics that show that the life of a foster family may need to be extended. While 54% of foster alumni earned a high school diploma, 51% were unemployed after leaving foster care. Further 25% became homeless, 30% did not have health insurance and a staggering 84% became a parent themselves 12 to 18 months after having been discharged from the foster system.
Call a Foster Care attorney in Nevada...
If you feel you need assistance with a foster placement, seek the help of qualified and experienced legal counsel. Las Vegas Defense Group has years of experience in the area of law and can be reached at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) for a FREE consultation.
Also see our article on Nevada adoption laws.