A Family for ME raises awareness of the need for foster parents in Maine, answers questions individuals and families may have about fostering and is a supportive presence for families during their licensing journey. Below are links and information about additional agencies you may have interest in as you become or once you are licensed.
The Maine Department of Health and Human Services is a government agency that provides support and services to children, teens, adults and elders. If you are considering becoming a foster parent, you can expect the Department of Health and Human Services to provide information about and links to information about foster parenting. Department of Health and Human Services staff will guide you through the process of foster parent licensure as well as acting as the guardian of the children in out of home placement. Visit Website
DHHS Foster Care
Once a child enters care and is placed in an out of home placement, DHHS staff performs an assessment of each child’s service needs. The different levels of service needs are referred to as levels of care. This assessment is designed to determine which services and supports are appropriate, as well as determining the amount of support the foster family is likely to need in order to achieve a successful placement experience. Support may be in the form of services provided and/or monetary resources the foster family will receive in order to meet the needs of the child(ren) placed in the home. Visit Website
While the Department of Health and Human Services primary goal for children in out of home placements is safe reunification with birth parent(s), that is not always possible. When a child is unable to safely reunify with their birth parent(s) or member of the birth family, DHHS makes an individualized plan to identify and support finding a Forever Family for children in out of home placement. This is accomplished through legal adoption with a family that has been determined to be able to meet the needs of the child. Visit Website
Adoptive and Foster Families of Maine, Inc. & the Kinship Program (AFFM) is a key resource that provides support services for adoptive and foster parents, and kinship (a foster care resource who is a member of the child’s extended family) providers. AFFM provides the training, guidance, knowledge, and resources needed to handle complex issues as families open their hearts and homes to children. Visit Website
The Resource Parent Care Team
The Resource Parent Care Team program supports licensed resource and kinship families with services and supports designed to help families manage the stresses of fostering and maintain placements until permanency occurs. RPCT will also help families successfully navigate the child welfare system, and maintain positive and timely communication about children in your care. Please contact your local DHHS office for more information.
In The Community
A Family for ME is pleased to highlight business partners and volunteers who are critical to the process of meeting the needs of children currently in out of home placement. In Maine, there is a robust group of business partners and individual volunteers who fulfill a range of needs in order to support not only children but the foster/adoptive families who welcome children into their hearts and homes.
Why join the list of community business partners?
A Family for ME is tasked with raising awareness regarding the need for foster parents in Maine. One of the tools we use to do that are Heart Gallery photographs. These are professional quality photographs of children waiting for forever families. When businesses allow A Family for ME to display Heart Gallery photographs and/or A Family for ME print materials, it sends a message to the foster parent community that this is a business that is focused on the well-being of the customers and community they serve.
Foster parents take notice of this partnership and typically share that information with other foster parents and members of their community. A Family for ME promotes those businesses by offering them an opportunity to upload logos and add information here on the website, and under other circumstances and opportunities as they arise.
Partnering with A Family for ME can take several forms, depending on the physical location and space of the business, the type of business and the customers/clientele who frequent the business. Some opportunities for partnership include:
• Allowing A Family for ME to display professional quality print material at your business.
• Hosting a Heart Gallery in a physical location accessed by the public.
• Offering discounted rates/goods for families who are licensed foster/adoptive parents.
• Spread the word through company newsletters.
• Donate services to A Family for ME.
I want to make a difference in the lives of children in out of home placement but I’m not prepared to be a foster parent. What else can I do?
Volunteers are crucial to the success of A Family for ME. We rely on volunteers to help spread the important message of the need for foster care in many ways. A Family for ME offers trainings that allows individuals to assist recruitment specialists in their day to day recruitment activities and there are individualized opportunities that do not require preparation and/or training.
People who wish to volunteer are encouraged to share their time, talents and abilities to explore new and varied ways to spread the message that the children in out of home placement need resources. Some ways we commonly ask volunteers to assist include:
• Hang/display A Family for ME print material in areas that have high visibility in businesses, places worship and schools.
• Assist in maintaining and installing Heart Gallery photographs.
• Join us in sharing your inspirational story about foster care/adoption with others.
• Volunteer your time/experience in individualized ways – professional photographers donate their services to produce Heart Gallery pictures, as an example.
• Ask your friends and family about foster care/adoption.
• Visit, like and share our Facebook page and website with others.
Articles & Resources
Infants and young children in Reunification