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Each year, hundreds of Alaska's children are placed in out-of-home care. Typically, it's because a child has been determined to be unsafe or at high risk of maltreatment, in their family home. These children range from newborns to teenagers and they live in communities all over Alaska.
OCS gathers information to make an informed assessment about whether the child is unsafe or at high risk, and the extent of the family's protective capacities. OCS also provides services to families with children remaining in their home as well as to families whose children have been placed in out-of-home care.
On average, there are approximately 1,200 children each month in foster care in Alaska. Foster homes provide children in care a temporary, safe, stable and nurturing home until they can be reunited with their families. Some children stay in a foster home for days or weeks; some stay for several years. In some cases, children are placed permanently with another family.
When out-of-home placement is needed to keep a child safe, OCS will make diligent efforts to identify, evaluate and consider relatives, family friends and those culturally tied to the family as the primary placement option. When relatives cannot be a placement option for the child, OCS will make efforts to actively recruit and support families within the child's home community and in close proximity as possible to the child's parents, to assure that the child may continue to maintain important and lasting cultural, ancestral, educational and community-based connections.
Consider becoming a foster parent today. It may be the most rewarding thing you ever do. You will help keep children safe, strengthen your community and give your own life a meaningful new challenge. Alaska welcomes and supports all families equally. Families of every race, culture, and ethnicity are needed to help children grown with a strong sense of racial and cultural identity. Applicants are considered regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion or sex.
As a foster parent, you will receive training based on the child's needs and help a child cope with the challenges that life brings. You can meet and get to know other foster parents, and agency staff can give you support.
Please check the links on the upper right hand side of this page for more information on how to become a foster or adoptive parent.