Mon - Fri 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
330 Court Street Eagle River Wisconsin 54521
715-479-3600

Foster Care

Vilas County Courthouse
330 Court Street
Eagle River, WI 54521
715.479.3668
Email
OFFICE HOURS
8am - 4pm M-F

Foster Care 
Every day foster families in Wisconsin make an incredible difference by providing safe and caring homes for children living in foster care. Family foster care and treatment foster care are designed to be temporary placements for children. Over 5,100 foster homes across the state care for almost 8,000 foster children each year. There is an ongoing need for foster parents, especially those who can care for sibling groups, teenagers, and children with disabilities.

What does it take to become a foster parent?
Anyone who has a desire to help. We do not need perfect people or fancy homes, you can be a single mom, an LGBT couple, married couple with or without children, renting or owning your home. You can have an interest in providing short term care, long term care, or a desire to adopt. We welcome all people who show an interest and just ask that there be a desire to help children in need.

Below are links to learn more about becoming a foster parent: http://dcf.wisconsin.gov/children/foster/progserv/fosterparent.htm
http://dcf.wisconsin.gov/children/foster/progserv/factsheet.htm
http://dcf.wisconsin.gov/foster_care_and_adoption.htm

Is training provided?
Foster parents must complete the 5 module, web-based, Foster Parent Pre-Placement Training as part of licensing. Once licensed they can start to take placements, however, within 2 years of licensure, they must also complete the 9 module State required training. Modules are offered on a regular basis at sites throughout the state and the Vilas County Foster Care Coordinator may be available to provide some of the modules. In two-parent foster homes both spouses must complete the trainings.

Do foster parents have any say over who they foster?
Skills and abilities are taken into consideration when making placement decisions; we do ask about preferences for ages, race and gender. You can decline a placement if you feel that the placement would not be a good fit.

How long do kids stay in foster care?
It depends on the child and the family. The goal is generally to return the child to the home, however, sometimes this does not happen quickly and sometimes not at all. We need foster families that are willing to keep children for varying lengths of time, from a couple of days to months, as well as considering adopting the children or being a long term resource for them.

What about the biological family?
Usually visits are scheduled, but the frequency of the visitation and level of supervision depends on the safety of the children with their biological family. We encourage biological parents to maintain and build relationships with their children while in foster care, however, this is a choice that the parent makes and varies on a case by case basis.

What if the child has problems, what kind of support can I expect?
A social worker is assigned to each child. Additionally, you will be assigned a foster care coordinator. There are local crisis services available if needed and there is a social worker on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Children with difficult behavioral issues often have a crisis plan in place, so the foster parent is aware of whom they can turn to for assistance.

What about medical coverage for the child?
All children in out-of-home care are provided with Medical Assistance care from the State.

Who do I contact to find out about becoming a foster parent in Vilas County?
Please contact Vilas County Department of Social Services at 715-479-3668 or vilasdss@vilascountywi.gov

You can find foster parent resources at the links below: http://dcf.wisconsin.gov/publications/dcf_p_5000.htm
http://dcf.wisconsin.gov/publications/pdf/pfs0395.pdf
http://dcf.wisconsin.gov/publications/pdf/dcf_p_pfs0488.pdf