Every family courageous enough to foster deserves to have

training, support, and community

to help the children in their homes heal.

I am

considering

fostering

We understand that your decision is hard. We’ll help you get the facts you need to feel confident in your choice.

I am

already

fostering

Thank you! We are so thrilled to connect with your family and offer resources aimed at making fostering even more fulfilling.

You could never be a foster parent.
Could you?

At The Restore Network, we understand the constant back and forth in your mind about wanting to care for a vulnerable child in the foster care system… but wondering if you’re actually cut out for it. Is it worth the risk of “rocking the boat”?

We understand because, as The Restore Network’s team of directors, we’ve stood precisely where you are. Then, we each held our breath, trusted in God, and opened our homes to children who needed us. Now, as we’re collectively parenting 30 children in six homes, we’ve never looked back.

Truth is – there’s no promise that fostering a child is easy, but it’s always worth it.

Start by attending a no-pressure informational session.

You’ll never, ever be alone.

When we all respond, the solution is so within our reach.

Expertly

Equipped

Get extensive, trauma-based training, taught by a Trust-Based Relational Intervention practitioner who, beyond having a Master’s degree in Social Work, specializes in helping families understand and implement interventions that help bring true healing to kids coming out of traumatic experiences.

Carefully

Connected

Since placing a child in the right family is more than finding an empty bed, we’ll spend time getting to know your family to identify the type of child who will most thrive in your home. We’ll then coach you on what factors to consider, so you can give your best “yes” when a placement is recommended.

Constantly

Supported

When a child is placed, we’ll start by providing clothes, supplies, and meals to meet immediate needs and remain in regular contact to offer a safe place to talk, training, advocacy and respite care. We also introduce you to a community of foster families who will walk with you in your journey.

Start by attending a no-pressure informational session.

I think it can be really easy to think of loving a child in foster care as removing a child from the mess of their story—snatching them from the pain and brokenness and placing them in something ‘better.’

The thing is, that’s not how my God loved me. My God set his ‘better’ aside. He laid aside his crown, and he entered into the mess of this earth. Really loving means entering in.

Restore Network Foster Parent

Here’s how to start.

Learn

Start with a no-pressure informational session. The Foster & Adopt 101 Workshop was designed for those exploring a call to care for a vulnerable child.

License

When you’re ready, our team will walk with you through the process of getting licensed, thoroughly trained, and thoughtfully connected with a child.

Love

Provide love, support, and hope to a vulnerable child. As a foster parent, we won’t promise your job will be easy, but we promise it will always be worth it.

Meet Your Trainer

Ashley Bennett is a Trust-Based Relational Intervention Practitioner. This means that, beyond having a Master’s in Social Work, she specializes in helping families understand interventions that will help bring healing to kids coming out of traumatic experiences.

Ashley and her family have been fostering for six years.

We’ll help your family thrive.

As a Restore Network foster family, you can count on:

Guidance

The mentoring and support of your County Director and help navigating the foster care licensing process in a timely manner.

Practical Resources

Unlimited access to trauma-informed resources for anything you need.

Community

A network of other foster parents and an invitation to a county-specific monthly “Connect Group.”

Celebrations

Invitations to parties and events created to provide fun for your foster child and respite for you.

Meals

Food brought to you by volunteers upon a new placement.

Clothing & Supplies

Material support like cribs, clothes, or car seats, when a child is placed in your home.

Advocacy

Unwavering help with advocacy, should things get complicated with the system.

Prayer

Intentional, on-going prayer from The Restore Network volunteer prayer team.

Beyond this support, your foster care agency will also provide:

Direction

A caseworker to manage your case.

Financial Support

A monthly subsidy to help cover the costs of raising a child.

Health Insurance

Medicaid insurance to cover the child’s healthcare needs.

Clothing

A voucher to help with the child’s clothing.

Daycare

Free daycare when both parents work.

Waivers

Waivers to cover all school fees, including meals.

Start by attending a no-pressure informational session.

“I foster because…”

I have a huge desire to love and help these families.

Karolyn

It’s been a long journey coming to the place where we were willing to see this as something our family should be involved in, but the more we move into it, the more gospel opportunities we see to be agents of reconciliation in a world broken and ravaged by the effects of the Fall.

Shayne

They need us more than we need our comfort.

Andria

God met us where we were most vulnerable and lost. He took us in. If he did that for us, why wouldn’t we do that for a child?

Victoria

I tell you, people think safe and easy is the best way, but the biggest blessings are almost always in the hard and the messy in my experience!

Angie

At the end of the day, it’s just worth it… It matters—every single moment—immensely.

Jess

FAQ

Do I have to be married to foster or adopt?

No. Foster and adoptive parents can be single or married. If you are married, you must be married at least one year before applying to foster or adopt. Sometimes being a single parent is the best option for a child that has experienced specific types of abuse.

Am I too old to foster/adopt? Am I too young to foster/adopt?

You must be 21 years of age to apply, but there are no restrictions on the maximum age for foster or adoptive parents. However, all applicants must be physically able to care for the child’s needs at his/her developmental age. Often, people wonder if the prime time to foster is in younger adulthood, but we find that empty nesters or retired individuals can have a significant impact as foster or adoptive parents.

Does one foster or adoptive parent need to stay at home?

No. Foster and adoptive children can attend daycare or be supervised by other caretakers while the foster/adoptive parents are at work.

Who pays for daycare?

The Department of Children & Family Services and/or its agents provide the funding for approved daycare and caretaking services.

Does each foster child have to have his/her own bedroom?

Not usually. However, there are specific circumstances where a foster child may need his/her own room.

Can we choose the age/gender/race/sibling group that is placed in our home?

​Yes. Families are encouraged to assess their own strengths and the strengths of their extended families, so they can make wise decisions about the right child(ren) for their homes.

What about medical care?

Medical insurance is provided through the state of Illinois’ Medicaid program. If the child is seeing physicians that are Medicaid providers, there will be no fees for services. Additionally, all approved medications will be provided at no cost.

I’m nervous about the birth parents and parent/child visits. Will the parent come to my home?

Parent/child visits are scheduled at a third party location and are supervised by a DCFS representative.

How long will the child be with us?

Every situation is unique. Some children may need a very short stay in your home, just a few days or weeks. However, many children may need the care of a foster parent for many months.

Are my kids too young to have a foster child in our home?

No. However, every foster family should assess the needs of their own children when considering providing for the needs of a foster child as well.

What is the difference between foster care and adoption?

Foster families take on the care of a child who needs healing from abuse, neglect, or abandonment while the parents receive the help that they need to provide a safe, healthy family situation. It is the goal of foster care to reunite the child successfully with his/her birth family. Adoption is needed when a child cannot be safely reunited with his/her birth family. When this occurs, an adoptive family is needed to step in and be the mom and dad to that child forever.

Will it be too difficult for me to give up the child when it's time for him/her to be reunited with his/her birth family?

This seems to be the most common concern for people considering foster care, and it is important to think about this before you begin. First, you must remember that while you love and care for foster children, they are not your children. They have a mom and a dad, and biological connections are incredibly strong. If a biological parent can care for his/her child, this is the best option for that child. Second, we encourage you to be willing to grieve for the sake of a child. The truth is that you may grieve if a child comes to you and then returns home. You must decide if the benefit for that child is worth grief on your part. Third, we encourage you to trust God. The simplest answer is to trust Him to guide the future of your family and any foster children you care for. He is faithful.

​Click here to view Illinois’ licensing standards for foster family homes.

Start by attending a no-pressure informational session.

13 Myths & Truths About Becoming a Foster Family

We understand the wavering back and forth as you want to care for a child in foster care… but at the same time are wondering if you’re actually cut out for it. What if you get too attached? What about my other kids? Would I even qualify? To help, we’ve compiled a list of the most common myths and truths for you to consider as you discern how God is leading your family.

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