Becoming a foster parent can be an immensely rewarding experience. You are providing a safe, supportive environment for a child at a critical time in his/her life. By opening your heart and home to a foster child, you provide guidance, stability and love, and help the child flourish and grow into a confident, contributing member of the community.
Great Circle uses the STARS (Specialized Training Assessments Resources) training, as required by Missouri’s Department of Social Services’ Children’s Division and developed by the Child Welfare League of America.
Training & Licensing Process
Background review – Prospective foster parents must:
- Pass several background checks, including having no criminal or abuse/neglect record
- Complete all required paperwork and be fingerprinted
- Be financially stable
- Be in good physical, mental and emotional health
Additional criteria for becoming a foster parent is on the Foster Parenting page.
Training – Prospective foster parents must:
- Complete the 27-hour in-class STARS training. Great Circle holds trainings 2-3 times a year in various regions. The training is free.
- Be certified in CPR/First Aid.
Once licensed, foster parents are required to complete additional in-service training each year to maintain licensure. This training is a mix of online videos, books and in-person courses.
Great Circle also provides additional training for foster families wanting to become a therapeutic foster care (TFC) home.
Home assessment/evaluation – Successful passage of this component is mandatory before being recommended for foster home licensure. It includes a home visit and to ensure the home has sufficient space to accommodate a foster child.
There are support groups for foster parents in every region. It is a wonderful opportunity to meet with other foster families and share tips, information or address common concerns. Although these groups are not directly affiliated with Great Circle, we are happy to provide contact information to parents wishing to participate.
Ready To Sign Up For Training?
STARS trainings are scheduled throughout the year based on interest. Check out the STARS training section at right for more information.