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Foster Care Service

Tuesday, September 14, 2010 @ 10:09 AM Karen Jean Matsko Hood

Dental Health and Nutrition Store

c/o Dental Care Associates of Spokane Valley, P.S.

Family and Cosmetic Dentistry

Dr. James G. Hood, D.D.S., M.A.

Foster Care Services

Dr. James G. Hood is licensed to be a foster parent in the state of Washington.  He and his wife have provided foster care to many children in their home over the years.  We welcome foster children to our dental practice at Dental Care Associates of Spokane Valley, P.S. We are one of the few dental practices in the area that accepts Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) coupons as full payment for dental care for children.  Our office is also located on a city bus route as a solution to transportation problems.

Foster care is the term used for a system in which a minor who has been made a ward is placed in the private home of a state certified caregiver referred to as a “foster parent.”

The state via the family court and child protection agency stand in loco parentis to the minor, making all legal decisions while the foster parent is responsible for the day-to-day care of said minor.  The foster parent is remunerated by the state for their services.

Foster care is intended to be a short-term situation until a permanent placement can be made.  However, foster care becomes a long-term solution when family reunification cannot occur.

Reunification with the biological parent(s), when it is deemed in the child’s best interest, is generally the first choice.


Adoption is preferably by a biological family member such as an aunt or grandparent.  If no biological family member is willing or able to adopt, the next preference is for the child to be adopted by the foster parents or by someone else involved in the child’s life (such as a teacher or coach).  This is to maintain continuity in the child’s life.  If neither above option is available, the child may be adopted by someone who is a stranger to the child.

Foster Care Placement:

Children may enter foster care via voluntary or involuntary means.  Voluntary placement may occur when a biological parent or lawful guardian is unable or unwilling to care for a child.  Involuntary placement occurs when a child is removed from their biological parent or lawful guardian due to the risk or actual occurrence of physical or psychological harm.  In the United States, most children enter foster care due to neglect.


The policies regarding foster care as well as the criteria to be met in order to become a foster parent vary according to legal jurisdiction.

547,415 children were in publicly supported foster care in the United States in September 2000.  There are about 123,000 children waiting for adoptive families (in 2009) in the United States foster care system.  African American children represented 41% of children in foster care, white children represented 40%, and Hispanic children represented 15% in the year 2000.

Foster Parents

The foster parent licensing process is often similar to or the same as the process to become licensed to adopt.  It requires preparation classes as well as an application process.  The application varies but may include: a minimum age, verification that your income allows you to meet your expenses, a criminal record check at local, state, and federal levels including finger printing and no prior record of child abuse or neglect, reference from a doctor to ensure that all household members are free from diseases that a child could catch and in sufficient health to parent a child and, letters of reference from an employer and others who know you.

Regulation, Administration, and Oversight

In the United States, foster home licensing requirements vary from state to state but are generally overseen by each state’s Department of Social Services or Human Services.  In some states, counties have this responsibility.  Each state’s services are monitored by the federal Department of Health and Human Services through reviews such as Child and Family Services Reviews, Title IV-E Foster Care Eligibility Reviews, Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System, and Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System Assessment Reviews.

Children found to be unable to function in a foster home may be placed in Residential Treatment Centers (RTCs) or other such group homes.  In theory, the focus of treatment in such facilities is to prepare the child for a return to a foster home, to an adoptive home, or to the birth parents when applicable.  However, two major reviews of the scholarly literature have questioned these facilities’ effectiveness.

A law passed by Congress in 1961 allowed Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) (welfare) payments to pay for foster care, which was previously made only to children in their own homes.  This made aided funding foster care for states and localities, facilitating rapid growth.  In some cases, the state of Texas paid mental treatment centers as much as $101,105 a year per child.  Observers of the growth trend note that a county will only continue to receive funding while it keeps the child in its care.  This may create a “perverse financial incentive” to place and retain children in foster care rather than leave them with their parents, and incentives are sometimes set up for maximum intervention.  A National Coalition for Child Protection Reform issue paper states, “children often are removed from their families `prematurely or unnecessarily’ because federal aid formulas give states `a strong financial incentive’ to do so rather than provide services to keep families together.”

In Washington State, all resources go toward family reunifications, which is always the goal of the state.  Dr. James G. Hood and his family have provided a safe, loving home for foster children and have adopted four of their foster children when they could not be reunited with their biological parents.


Dental Health and Nutrition Store

c/o Dental Care Associates of Spokane Valley, P.S.

Family and Cosmetic Dentistry

Dr. James G. Hood, D.D.S., M.A.

507 N. Sullivan Road Suite A-1

Spokane Valley, WA 99037-8576 USA

Dental Health and Nutrition Store Phone: (509) 928-4200 / Fax: (509) 928-0414

Dental Office Phone: (509) 928-9100 / Fax: (509) 928-0414




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