What makes a successful SOS Foster Parent Applicant?
The SOS Children’s Villages Illinois model of care is a unique one: we employ full-time, professional Foster Parents who care for up to six siblings in a single-family home in one of our Village communities.
For SOS Illinois Foster Parents, their job is not just a full-time job—it’s a full-time vocation. Because Foster Parents are the foundation of the SOS Illinois model, we are looking for passionate and dedicated candidates to create stable home lives for our children. By creating a stable home life, SOS Children’s Villages Illinois Foster Parents help children overcome devastating pasts and gain confidence about their world and their dreams for the future.
Learn more about the history of the organization and the Sibling Foster Care Program here.
To understand the commitment required, we encourage you to take a moment to get to know our incredible Foster Parents:
- SOS Illinois Foster Parents: Committed and Called to Care
- Our Foster Parents Are Rock Stars
- Education, Experience, and the Heart for the Job
- Tune in to Transform Lives: An Interview with Terri Hemmert of WXRT
Successful Foster Parents must meet the following minimum criteria in order to move forward in the application process.
- Valid driver’s license, proof of insurance, and clear driving record
- DCFS (Department of Children and Family Services) background clearance
- DCFS medical clearance
- Must be at least 25 years of age
- Must have a high school diploma or equivalent
- If applicable, must adhere to the policy of bringing only one biological or adopted child into the Village home
- Must be willing to move to any one of our three Villages (Lockport Village, Chicago Village, and Roosevelt Square Village)
- Must be willing to commit to three years of service as a full-time, professional Foster Parent
Background and Skills
SOS Children’s Villages Illinois is looking for nurturing individuals, domestic partners, or married couples interested in devoting their lives to the profession of Foster Parent, who are:
- Experienced with children, either as parents or by working with children in another environment
- Adept at supporting the needs of behaviorally complex children with a history of mental, emotional, or physical trauma
- Able to discipline fairly and willing to learn behavior-management skills
- Skilled in managing a household and a budget
- Self-sufficient thinkers with a collaborative spirit and positive outlook on life
Beyond the minimum criteria and experience, successful SOS Illinois Foster Parents excel by possessing the following five qualities:
- A Heart for Mission
A fitting Foster Parent at SOS Illinois must have our mission embedded in their heart. A successful candidate will show that they are driven to make a difference in the lives of siblings in foster care and are committed to the service of others, especially those in greatest need.
- A Heart for Children
Becoming a Foster Parent with SOS Illinois isn’t just a job, it’s a lifestyle change; one that requires full-time, loving interaction with children. Someone who shows desire and excitement for working with youth, including those healing from trauma or with behavioral concerns, might be the perfect fit for the role.
- A Willingness to Relocate
Central to our model of foster care is the Village, where Foster Parents and children live within a community surrounded by supportive services and resources. All Foster Parent applicants must be willing to relocate to one of our three Villages in Chicago or Lockport.
- Creative Parenting and Style of Care
As an SOS Illinois Foster Parent, individuals or couples are required to attend trainings and workshops geared towards developing and enhancing parenting skills. Successful Foster Parent applicants would be able to apply the skills gained in these trainings in creative, adaptable methods suited to the unique needs of the children in their home.
- A Desire for Village Living and Community
The Village model at SOS Illinois sets our style of foster care apart by creating a supportive and well-connected network for children, Foster Parents, and staff. Those most suited to serve as Foster Parents would be passionate about community-living and willing to learn from and offer knowledge to those working and living among them.
Most importantly, SOS Illinois Foster Parents are ready to make a full-time commitment to providing a loving, safe, and secure home for the children in their care.
If you are interested (or know someone who is), please consult our FAQ for more details and apply here. If we feel that you would make a great addition to the SOS Illinois family, a recruiter will contact you to attend an informational session or invite you to learn more about the application process.
Interested in other opportunities? Visit our Careers page.