Frequently Asked Questions


Who are the children that need foster care?

We care for children and youth from infancy through age 21. The majority of children we serve are survivors of abuse and/or neglect. These children have emotional and/or physical disabilities, social and/or behavioral challenges, experienced problems at school, and/or have developmental delays. We also serve sibling groups, pregnant teens, and/or young mothers. We often need homes for youth transitioning out of one of HopeTree’s residential settings.

What are the criteria to become a foster parent?

Foster parent applicants must fit the following criteria:

  • Financially self-sufficient.
  • Single or married adults. If married, both husband and wife must be involved with all aspects of the program.
  • Active in a church of the Christian faith and view their involvement in the Foster Care ministry as a means of expressing their Christian faith.
  • Be in good physical health as reported by a doctor.
  • Satisfy requirements of a home study (i.e. space, safely, cleanliness, etc.).
  • Complete New Foster Parent Orientation and PRIDE training.
  • Complete 22 hours of training on an annual basis to keep certification current.

What will be expected of me as a foster parent?

HopeTree Foster Care expects all foster parents to provide a safe, loving, nurturing environment for a child placed in your home. You must be able to provide structure, guidance, and supervision, and participate in all aspects of the child’s care by attending service plan reviews, treatment team meetings, court hearings and other meetings facilitated by DSS or other involved parties. You must work with the child’s biological family when required and transport foster children to visitations with their families. You must advocate for the child placed in your care, attend on-going training and foster parent support groups, abide by HopeTree Foster Care’s policies and procedures as outlined by HopeTree Family Services and the Virginia Department of Social Services. You are expected to communicate appropriately and cooperate with all providers working with the children placed in your home.

How do I know if foster parenting is the right choice for me?

We discuss this in orientation and training. Some questions you can ask yourself include:

  • Do I have room in my home?
  • Am I in good health?
  • Am I financially stable?
  • Do I want to help children or give back to the community?
  • Do I feel like I am being “called” to help children in need?

What makes a good home for a foster child?

Some of the qualities of a good home environment for a foster child include nurturing, compassion, love, patience, structure, rules, appropriate discipline, perseverance, kindness, and acceptance. The training and support you receive throughout your lifetime as a foster parent with HopeTree helps you achieve and sustain this type of home environment.

What services and support would I receive as a foster parent with HopeTree?

We provide all foster parents with intensive training and support to ensure that you can be the best possible parent for the child placed in your care. HopeTree Foster Care provides all foster parents with supportive case management services, monthly training and support group sessions, 24-hour emergency support and crisis intervention, respite care, and tax-free financial compensation. Our program focuses on working with children who have experienced trauma with the goal of helping them face challenges in a more productive way. We aim to build relationships with children and foster families to provide the support everyone needs to succeed.

What areas in Virginia does HopeTree Foster Care serve?

HopeTree Foster Care has the ability to serve foster families who reside within a 90-mintue drive of the foster care offices in Salem and Chester. Visit the Contact Us page to find out where our offices and located and who to contact.

How much does it cost to be a foster parent?

While you don’t necessarily have to “pay” in a traditional sense to be a foster parent, it does cost you time, energy, patience and commitment. We believe the benefits of being a foster parent far outweigh the costs. The role of a foster parent is something far greater than a simple monetary exchange. It’s a way to help someone, a child in need, that has eternal significance.

How long is the commitment to be a foster parent?

This depends on the child’s goal—whether it is to return home or adoption. It could range from a few days to forever. Regardless of their goal, foster parents have the opportunity to provide lasting memories for the children they serve and be a “forever family” even if they return to their biological homes.

How do I know if HopeTree’s Foster Care program is right for me?

We are looking for single or married people of the Christian faith who want to demonstrate Christian love to children in need.

Is HopeTree’s Foster Care program licensed by social services?

Yes. You may look up HopeTree’s licensure information by visiting the Virginia Department of Social Services website at

I’d like to be a foster parent. What’s my next step?

Fantastic! Please visit the Become A Foster Parent page for a step-by-step guide of what to expect in becoming a foster parent at HopeTree. You may also complete the inquiry form on the Contact Us page and someone from our office will follow up with you soon.

Does HopeTree offer adoption services, too?

Not at the present time, although our foster parents often adopt the children they serve through the Virginia Department of Social Services.

I’m not in a position to be a foster parent right now but would still like to help HopeTree Foster Care. What can I do?

If you’re not ready to become a foster parent right now, there are other opportunities to get involved with our ministry. HopeTree Family Services hosts several community events and volunteer opportunities throughout the year. Visit the calendar on for a list of upcoming events in your area . You may also lend a helping hand to a foster family by providing gift cards, suitcases, duffel bags, hygiene items and/or monetary donations.

You can also be an advocate for children by getting involved with legislators and encouraging them to support legislation that protects our children. Spreading the word about our program to other potential foster parents is another way you can help out right now. We’d be happy to supply you with extra brochures and informational pieces to distribute.