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Old 09-04-2008, 03:12 PM   #1
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Health Requirements for Foster Care

Foster parenting is a long way off for us, if we choose to do it. We probably won't be seriously looking into it for another 5 years or so, but I've been doing some research so I'll know what to expect when the time is right.

The foster care information page for my state says:

Quote:
Applicants must obtain a physical exam within the six months prior to licensing to assess their physical and emotional ability to foster parent.
I have depression and anxiety, and my husband is disabled due to very severe epilepsy. My DH wouldn't be able to be a full-time SAHD to any child, but his health problems wouldn't prevent us from foster-parenting together, would it? And will my depression be an issue? I have no history of violence or drug/alcohol abuse, and wouldn't foster unless I felt emotionally steady enough to handle it, but will a history of these conditions block me from fostering?

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Old 09-06-2008, 07:16 PM   #2
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Re: Health Requirements for Foster Care

You *should* be fine.
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Old 09-06-2008, 07:57 PM   #3
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Re: Health Requirements for Foster Care

I don't think your history should be a problem. With the epilepsy, is it controlled? If he has very frequent seizures, I am not sure. It might matter, it might not. I have uncontrolled diabetes and my doctor wrote that on the physical form and they didn't care. They are desperate for homes so it probably won't matter.
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Old 09-06-2008, 10:28 PM   #4
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Re: Health Requirements for Foster Care

As long as your health issues are being taken care of it should not be a problem.
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Old 09-07-2008, 09:49 AM   #5
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Re: Health Requirements for Foster Care

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Originally Posted by kristy29 View Post
I don't think your history should be a problem. With the epilepsy, is it controlled? If he has very frequent seizures, I am not sure. It might matter, it might not. I have uncontrolled diabetes and my doctor wrote that on the physical form and they didn't care. They are desperate for homes so it probably won't matter.
My DH's epilepsy is uncontrollable; every medication he's taken has caused him immediate cardiac arrest. He has about 5 seizures a week, lasting anywhere from 4-9 hours each. It's not fun. There's one medication that might work for him, but it would cost us about $300/month, and we don't have health insurance. Social Security and the VA also both say that his epilepsy doesn't qualify him as "disabled" (I don't know what the **** does, if that doesn't!!!) so we don't get any kind of disability payment, either.

However, if he's not the primary caregiver to potential foster children (obviously, he's not capable of it), and if I'm doing all the hands-on care, that shouldn't matter, right? I guess I'll just look into it when the time is right. Maybe, by then, my DH's health will be better.
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Old 09-07-2008, 10:40 AM   #6
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Re: Health Requirements for Foster Care

Yeah, I really don't know what they would say. Your best bet would be to call the agency you plan on working with and asking them.
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Old 09-07-2008, 11:23 AM   #7
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Re: Health Requirements for Foster Care

hhmmm...i agree that your issues, if controlled, shouldnt pose an issue. I wouldnt think the epilepsy would necesarily disqualify you, but I think it might raise some issues.
According to your response, he is having almost daily seizures lasting 4-9 hours? Wnhat happens during that time? Is he actively seizing as in thrashing about and stuff? does he cry out or do his eyes roll back, do you have to provide care to him during that time(such that you cant really be attending to the kids, etc) On an emotional level, i'm concerned that a foster kid coming into that might be scared out of their mind, to be honest. Seeing a seizure is scary for people not used to it (well..even those used to it, too of course, but you know what i mean..) and especially an emotionally fragile, possibly abused child in foster care? I can see MY agency disqualifying someone like that, to be completely honest with you.

Also..you say he isn't receiving any type of disability...are you the primary wage-earner? Or is he holding down a job? You will have to show that your family has sufficient income withOUT the foster stipend, so that might be an issue?
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Old 09-07-2008, 02:39 PM   #8
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Re: Health Requirements for Foster Care

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Originally Posted by bobandjess99 View Post
hhmmm...i agree that your issues, if controlled, shouldnt pose an issue. I wouldnt think the epilepsy would necesarily disqualify you, but I think it might raise some issues.
According to your response, he is having almost daily seizures lasting 4-9 hours? Wnhat happens during that time? Is he actively seizing as in thrashing about and stuff? does he cry out or do his eyes roll back, do you have to provide care to him during that time(such that you cant really be attending to the kids, etc) On an emotional level, i'm concerned that a foster kid coming into that might be scared out of their mind, to be honest. Seeing a seizure is scary for people not used to it (well..even those used to it, too of course, but you know what i mean..) and especially an emotionally fragile, possibly abused child in foster care? I can see MY agency disqualifying someone like that, to be completely honest with you.

Also..you say he isn't receiving any type of disability...are you the primary wage-earner? Or is he holding down a job? You will have to show that your family has sufficient income withOUT the foster stipend, so that might be an issue?
I'm the primary wage-earner (the only one, actually), and I WAH. I won't be foster-parenting until we can well-afford it--as I said, this is tentative and several years in the future and I wouldn't do it unless we could. I really disagree with fostering to get the stipend, and wouldn't be applying to foster-parent unless I were fully confident that we can care for our DD as well as any foster child/ren without additional support. That time may never come, but I'm still doing my research from a tentative POV.

DH only has grand mal seizures (the kind you described) about twice a month. He almost always knows when they're coming and just goes to bed and may thrash around for an hour or two. Because there's nothing I can do about them, I just go in and check his heart rate every few minutes, or--if my DD's asleep--I hold his hand and reassure him until it's over. Even at my DD's age, I don't bring her into the room with me when he's having severe trouble because I don't want to alarm her. The other seizures are petit mal, or absence seizures, which means that he just gets confused, disoriented, dizzy, twitchy, and has trouble speaking. In terms of what it looks like and feels like, it's sort of like being drunk (only not at all pleasant). Sometimes he's able to function straight through the more minor seizures. Obviously, he can't drive or anything during them, but they wouldn't look very scary to a child; he might just seem sleepy. We've often babysat for our godchildren when he's been having more mild seizures, and our four-year-old goddaughter just says things like, "You don't feel good? Can't talk? Feel better, okay?" and gives him hugs. I'm sure seeing a grand mal seizure might be alarming, but, as I said, he usually just stays out of the way during them.

He usually does fine taking care of himself, and his disability hasn't yet prevented me from being able to fully care for our DD. I don't think it would be any different with a foster child.

I was going to post in the parenting forum about how to explain DH's disability to DD as she gets older...
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