Reference Letter Example for a Foster Parent Position
The decision to become a foster parent is a momentous one, fraught not only with all of the preliminary planning and anticipation it takes to welcome a child into one’s home, but also with a lot of red tape. In addition to the initial application process to become a foster parent, you should be prepared for background checks, character and personal references, and employment verification. The specific requirements for becoming a foster parent vary by state, but generally you will probably be required to become licensed, attend in-person or online orientations, pass police background checks, pre-service caregiver core training and First Aid / CPR and Blood Borne Pathogens training sessions.
As part of the licensing process for a foster parent position, you will probably also need to provide character references – letters from people who know you well who can attest to your integrity, financial stability, and fitness to become a foster parent.
Who to Ask for a Reference
Who should you ask to write a reference letter on your behalf? The best people to write these letters are people who have a positive standing in your community and who are dedicated to the welfare of children – people like pastors, teachers or school principals, physicians, coaches, social workers, or other foster care givers. Ideally they will have known you for several years and will be able to enthusiastically describe your trustworthiness, ethics, and love for children.
When you ask someone to write a foster care reference for you, it is a good idea to sit down with them and make a list of the reasons why you would be a wonderful foster parent. This will give them information to work with as they write your character reference. Together you should address the following questions:
- Do you have a strong local support system of family and friends?
- What experience do you have working with children?
- Is your home safe, sanitary, and large enough to accommodate a foster child?
- How do you respond to stress? How are you prepared to support a child who might have behavioral or mental health issues?
- How available would you be for welcoming social workers for monthly home inspections? For meeting with your foster child’s family during the reunification process?
- How would your other family members respond to having a foster child in their home?
Here is an example of a reference letter written for a candidate for a foster parent position.
Foster Parent Reference Sample
Thomas Grey, Caseworker, Children's Services
Geraldine Brown, Senior Caseworker, Children's Services
555 Main Street
Suburbia, NY 12345
July 12, 20XX
Dear Mr. Grey and Ms. Brown,
I am writing with regard to Linda Flynn's application to become a certified foster parent in Eastern County. I have known Linda personally and socially for nine years; she is both a close friend and also attends the church where my husband is a rector. She is a kind, warm person, and one to whom I have entrusted my own children on many occasions.
Linda has always been a hard-working, trustworthy individual. She has recently completed an intense program to earn her RN degree, meanwhile maintaining her close relationships and fulfilling her responsibilities as a single mother.
Over the years that I have known Linda, she has been through some challenges, including her divorce, and subsequently having to find her own way financially and emotionally. She has done so without ever faltering in her judgment, and her ability to maintain a thriving home and environment for herself and her son is confirmed by her child’s success in school (he is a well-regarded honors student who is active in both sports and band).
Linda's home is a clean, happy, safe, nurturing place where children feel comfortable immediately. She keeps age-appropriate games and toys available for all her young friends.
I believe that Linda would make a wonderful foster parent. She has always expressed an interest in sharing her life with many children, and her warmth and compassion would allow her to nurture any child during a difficult and transitory time.