Did you go through an organization? Which one and do you recommend it?
One of the biggest licensing hurdles we wrestled with before we started our application process, was whether or not to go through an organization. We knew people who got licensed directly through DSS and would admit that the process was about as good as one could expect. (I mean, let’s be real. If you know anything about DSS, it’s that they are way overworked and understaffed.) We had also talked to people who were licensed through the Youth Advocate Program, which works in several states across the country (YAP no longer licenses in our area. It’s possible that they do around other parts of the country.), but we didn’t necessarily feel that was the way to go. We also had several friends who were licensed through a local, faith-based organization called Miracle Hill Ministries, which interested us the most.
Mission Statement: Miracle Hill exists that homeless children and adults receive food and shelter with compassion, hear the Good News of Jesus Christ, and move toward healthy relationships and stability.
Support of the Foster Care System seems to fit right in with their mission statement! (I always get excited when I find ministries that provide support and aid to marginalized families and children.)
Once we decided to pursue Miracle Hill, I filled out their online contact form and within a couple of hours, I had an email in my inbox from a licensing worker and we set up our initial meeting!
Would I recommend going through an organization like Miracle Hill to get licensed? ABSOLUTELY. Without a doubt. If you live in upstate SC, and you’re considering becoming foster parents, please contact MH.
From Miracle Hill, we expected:
* Some help in getting our license
* A worker that would visit a couple of times a year to make sure everything with our home was acceptable
* That was all? Truthfully, we didn’t know what to expect…
From Miracle Hill, we have received:
* Carefully guided, step-by-step instructions for filling out our paperwork for licensing
* A well-organized licensing worker who handled each piece of paperwork and submitted our completed packet for license approval
* Support (and attendance) at every court hearing and Foster Care Review Board meeting
* A quarterly visit from our worker to check up on our family and to make sure our DSS caseworkers are on the ball! 🙂
* Frequent emails to check in on us and assess our needs
* A licensing worker who cares about and prays for our family
* Support from an organization that works closely with DSS
* Much more
We would, with no hesitation, recommend an agency like Miracle Hill for licensing. Our licensing worker has been an unexpected blessing throughout this process. We have been blessed to have great DSS caseworkers, but we’ve had several of them in the year that we’ve had our current placement. Jobs turn over, people get moved, cases get changed, and caseworkers have to play catch-up. It’s a frustrating process for them, but our workers have nailed it. Our MH worker, however, has been constant. She’s been able to find information for us, made phone calls, nudged certain things along, and answered any and all questions for us whenever we asked. She has truly been an incredible blessing.