All parents gay, straight, single, or coupled are required to attend the orientation. The orientation is a brief outline of what the county has to offer and what they are looking for as far as prospective parents. At this point the county depending on the state and county informs you that the foster and adoption programs are grouped together and no matter of the path that the parent(s) want to go they are required to obtain their foster license first. During the orientation parents are encouraged to stay and fill out the application form and or go home and think about the process before applying. Once the application is completed and turned in the county requires the parent(s) to return within 5 days and are required to have a Live Scan completed. The Live scan is a electronic background that is federally backed from a federal database. Just an FYI having a criminal background does not disqualify you from either fostering or adopting. However it is based on the severity of the crime and is on a case by base bases. I do not want to give my personal background but I have had two alcohol related accidents and Juan has had one and we are still able to adopt children (yes there are more hoops to jump through but it is still possible). If the truth is told on the application and you are upfront with the agency there should be no real reason that there is a problem.
During the orientation the instructor explains the process in which parents need to do to complete the foster process (Remember that a Foster License is required first). The first thing and probably most important part of the entire process is the series of classes that are sometimes referred to as PRIDE which stands for Parent Resources for Information, Development, and Education. We were informed that these were 9 3hr classes that each parent had to attend.
We were also told that we would be assigned a licensing Social Worker. We were told that this person would guide us through the process.
Other than the Pride classes and the monthly support for the child and their family that is really all that is reveled during this first meeting.
***Note. At this point would be a very good idea to make copies of everything. Information at this point was already lost and the process was stalled until we were able to fix the mistake.
*** Also when references are completed make sure that the people that are giving the referral ask them to make copies as well.