Frequently Asked Questions
Foster Care Questions
How long does it take to get licensed?
The length of time it takes to become a licensed foster family can vary significantly depending on the licensing agency and region. Your local Child Bridge foster care specialist can provide an estimated timeline for your region of the state.
How should I parent a child from foster care?
At Child Bridge, we coach parents in applying Trust-Based Relational Intervention®. Developed by Dr. Karyn Purvis, this methodology focuses on helping children heal through relationship with a trusted caregiver. The Connected Child book is an excellent starting place to learn how to connect with a child who has experienced trauma.
What are the requirements for becoming a foster parent?
You do not need to own your own home, be wealthy, have children already, have a college degree, or be a stay-at-home parent to foster or adopt. However, you do need to demonstrate that you can support yourself without any additional income. When a child is in foster care, she will qualify for Medicaid, which will cover medical needs and checkups. For Montana's state specific foster licensing requirements, please see this link: https://dphhs.mt.gov/cfsd/fosterparent
What is the goal of foster care?
The goal of foster care is to reunite a child with their biological family, whenever possible. A judge is the one that makes that determination as to when, or if, it is safe for a child to return home to their birth family.
What does it cost to foster?
Currently, there is little to no financial obligation associated with fostering. Depending on the agency you work with, you may be asked to pay for a background check. Other costs associated with foster care to consider include the investment of time, space and emotion.
How do kids come into foster care?
Child and Family Services (CFS) investigates reports of suspected child abuse and neglect and removes children from threatening situations. A juvenile court judge then decides if a child needs to be placed or remain in foster care.
What's the difference between State, therapeutic and tribal licensing?
Each agency or tribe has different requirements for licensing. Some tribes will license non-Natives families to take placements from that tribe. Check for the tribe nearest you for their requirements. The Montana Department of Health and Human Services does most of the foster care licensing in the state. Therapeutic licenses are done through organizations such as Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch, Youth Dynamics and others. Children placed in families with a therapeutic license need a higher level of care than a traditional state foster care license. One of the misconceptions is that the state license and a therapeutic license are just different agencies doing the same thing. Therapeutic licensed families require extra training, documentation and need specific skills to care for a child with a diagnosed disability.
Can I get licensed through Child Bridge?
Child Bridge is not a licensing and placing agency. A Child Bridge recruiting specialist will work with you to decide which licensing agency will best suit your family's goals. We will then connect you with that agency and walk alongside you through the licensing process.
What if I want to adopt?
Children in foster care need temporary out of home care, whether that need is for a few days, a few months, or longer. These children need loving, nurturing families who will commit to caring for them no matter the length of time. At times, however, when children are unable to return home safely, permanency through adoption is sought. It is in these situations that foster families become a resource for children needing adoptive homes. There is an especially high need for families willing to adopt older children, including teenagers, and large sibling groups.
Who are your services for?
Our services are for parents caring for a child from foster care, whether they are fostering or have adopted from foster care. This does not include teachers, social workers, CASA, etc.
Can I attend if I've adopted internationally?
Our services and curriculum cater specifically to parents caring for children from foster care. Parents who have adopted a child from foster care are welcome, but international adoption falls outside of our scope of services.
What does it cost to use/attend your services?
Nothing. All our services are free with the exception of our annual Radiant Women's Retreat.
Should I sign up before attending services/events?
Please register to attend services you're interested in, even if it's last minute. This helps us know how many attendees to plan for.
Where do I RSVP?
You can view and sign up for all of our services/events here on our calendar.
Can I bring my kids?
- Foster Connect - Yes. Childcare is provided.
- Journey Group - Sometimes; ask your local team.
- Events/Socials - Yes. These events are for the whole family.
- Radiant - No.
Do you provide allergy friendly food?
We can provide allergy-friendly options for some events, but not all. Please let your local team know about any food allergies prior to an event you intend to attend.
Is it okay to arrive late or leave early?
Absolutely! We know schedules are busy, and you are welcome to come and go from our services and events as needed.
Will your trainings count toward my licensing hours?
In some regions, yes. Our trainings can be submitted to your licenser, and your region's licensers will decide whether to award credit for those hours.
Will I receive a receipt or tax statement for my gift(s)?
For electronic gifts, a receipt is sent to the email address provided during checkout. For cash or check gifts, a receipt is mailed to the address on your account. In late January, an annual tax statement that summarizes all gifts is mailed to the address on your account listing all gifts for the prior calendar year.
Is my donation tax deductible?
Child Bridge Inc is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization. Your donation is tax-deductible within the guidelines of U.S. law. To claim a donation as a deduction on your U.S. taxes, please keep the donation receipt(s) or annual tax statement for your records.
Is my information secure?
Yes! Credit card and bank account numbers are NEVER available to Child Bridge or Classy. The data is encrypted using industry-standard SSL technology to protect your information and provide a safe and secure environment for online giving.
I would like to mail in a gift, where should I send it?
Thank you! Our mailing address is: P.O. Box 310 Bigfork, MT 59911
Can I make an endowment gift to Child Bridge?
Yes! You may be eligible to receive a 40% Montana Endowment Tax Credit for contributions up to $25,000 per individual. To learn more, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, if you would like to reach out directly to a Community Foundation, contact Lauren Wright with the Billings Community Foundation at 406-839-3334; Mitch Carroll with the Montana Community Foundation at 406-443-8313; or Daria Perez with the Whitefish Community Foundation at 406-863-1781.
How can I access Child Bridge's 990 reports?
To request a copy of our recent 990 reports, please email email@example.com.
Can I make a gift to Child Bridge through my Donor-Advised Fund?
Yes! Request a grant distribution through your DAF sponsor. You can also designate Child Bridge as a beneficiary for your donor-advised fund. Our nonprofit tax id # is 27-3382066. Our mailing address is P.O. Box 310, Bigfork, MT 59911.
Can I leave Child Bridge a gift in my will?
Absolutely! When you make a legacy gift, you’ll continue to make an impact in the lives of children who have suffered so much even after you’re gone. Your vision and generosity demonstrates your commitment to the Child Bridge vision of “a family for every child.” Your gift deepens your commitment to improving the lives of children who have suffered abuse or neglect, now and in the future. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Can I donate monthly?
Absolutely! Select the "monthly" option and preferred amount. The provided account will be charged each month on the same date until you instruct otherwise.
Can Child Bridge accept Stock gifts?
Yes! Our brokerage account is: DTC Number 0361, Account Number 59990463