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FosterHope Program

What is FosterHope?

FosterHope is Meridian Health Services’ specialized foster care program for Indiana children in need of emotional, behavioral, or mental health support. It is a therapeutic program that recruits, trains, and licenses new foster families within the State of Indiana. FosterHope parents offer special care and support for the child and provide the connection to community health services.

  • FosterHope strives for a reduction in the level of therapeutic care that a foster child requires with the hope of reunification and reducing the overall time in foster home
  • FosterHope provides clinical services (therapy and case management) to foster children and clinical support to foster parents
  • Foster parents have access to behavioral support, crisis intervention, and emergency respite 24 hours a day, every day of the year

A Family Reunited

Kyle Wire is a teen with autism and challenging family issues. His parents were divorced and he lived with his mother. A couple of years ago, Kyle’s mom was stricken with a physical illness and had to enter a nursing home. What would happen to Kylewhile his mom was recovering?

For a time, Kyle’s older sister took him in, but that ended in adisagreement. Kyle’s father was working in Michigan, so that was not an option. Kyle had previously been a Meridian Health Services’ Connxxions client and in this difficult situation, Meridian would be able to help Kyle again.

This time, Kyle’s care was supported by Meridian’s FosterHope program. Kyle would live with a special foster family until his mother recovered her health.

Sherry is a special education teacher, they were drawn to children with special needs. Kyle was the first child FosterHope placed with the couple. “I can’t say it was easy,” Sherry said of dealing with an autistic teen with anger issues.  Read More

Integrated care benefits children who need special care and special families

FosterHope, a division of Meridian Health Services, is one of the few foster programs in Indiana that specializes in the needs of children with behavioral issues. Meridian identifies and trains special families to provide therapeutic care with the hope of reuniting children with their families.

FosterHope provides each child and family with a connection to integrated care that addresses each child's variety of needs and coordinates care. Read More

What is foster parenting?

  • Foster parents provide a temporary home for a child when the parents or guardians cannot provide the child's essential safety and well being.
  • Foster parents are part of a team working to safely reunite the child with the family or establish a permanent relationship with nurturing guardians.
  • Foster parents share their home, time, care, and hearts with a child who needs patience, understanding, comfort and love.
  • Foster parents serve as a role model and demonstrate good parenting skill for the child's family.

Who can become a foster parent?

  • Individuals  at least 21 years old
  • Any race, ethnicity, religion or gender
  • Couples or singles
  • Homeowners or renters
  • Any education level
  • Parents of young children, school-age children or grown children
  • Adults that have never been a parent before

Would I be a good foster parent?

Consider these qualities of a good FosterHope parent:

  • Ability to create a safe environment where trust and confidence can grow
  • Can mentor biological families who have abused or neglected a child
  • Flexible
  • Functions well as part of a team
  • Non-judgmental
  • Willingness to learn to care for children with special needs

Although almost any adult is welcomed to become a foster parent, FosterHope carefully screens and trains all applicants to ensure that a child will have a safe and nurturing environment.

How do I become a FosterHope parent?

  • Call 1-866-590-8220 to receive more information
  • Attend an orientation meeting to learn more about foster parenting
  • Complete the following requirements to become screened, trained, and licensed:
  • Criminal background check
  • 36 hours of training
  • Physical and/or psychological evaluation
  • Home inspection to ensure that the environment can support a foster child
  • Home study assessment
  • Interview process with licensing specialist

Financial support

  • Medicaid pays for the child's medical, dental, vision and counseling expenses
  • FosterHope parents receive
    • A monthly per diem for room, board and some other expenses
    • Free initial and annual training, including CPR and fist aid
    • Access to behavioral support, crisis intervention and emergency respite 24 hours a day, every day of the year
    • Mileage reimbursements for child transportation to certain destinations
    • Initial clothing allotments

Why should you become a foster parent?

  • New foster parents are needed every day. In 2005, nearly 6,000 children in Indiana lived in a foster care environment.
  • Foster parents are needed to provide a safe environment. In 2004, nearly 58 cases of child abuse were reported per day in Indiana.
  • Specifically in you community, there are hurting children who need hope for a brighter future. As a foster parent, you can provide that hope.
  • Faimilies in your community will be strengthened by careing persons who demonstrate safe and nurturing parenting skills.
  • You can do it.

There's a child hoping for someone just like you.

To learn more about participating in FosterHope, call Meridian Health Services at 1-866-590-8220.

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