Becoming an Adoptive Family

Becoming an adoptive family is a process designed to educate and empower families to partner with COBYS to provide the best care possible for children in foster care.

Resource parents must meet these criteria to be eligible to serve:

  • Be at least 21 years of age
  • If two people are presenting as parental figures in the home, they must be married to each other for at least two years and complete a marital inventory
  • If an applicant is divorced, widowed, or legally separated, a minimum of two years must have passed prior to applying to be a resource family
  • Able to provide transportation for foster children to appointments and visits
  • Practice positive parenting skills and pledge not to use corporal punishment
  • Able to meet the physical, emotional, cultural, and spiritual needs of foster children
  • Willing to establish positive relationships with birth parents
  • Willing to communicate openly with COBYS staff on all matters impacting a foster child’s well-being
  • Live within one hour driving distance to COBYS’ Murry Hill Center office in central Lancaster County

The process of becoming a resource family with COBYS involves several steps:

  • Attend an Information Session for potential resource families
  • Submit an application including personal references and financial information
  • Complete an intensive Pre-Service Training Class
  • Have all household members complete a medical appraisal
  • Obtain criminal background checks (including State Police, ChildLine, and FBI clearances), references, and other documents to ensure the safety of children in the home
  • Complete family history paperwork, interviews, and follow through on any recommendations
  • Pass a home safety inspection
  • Specify preferences for age, gender, race, and behavioral, emotional, and/or medical needs of children they are able to care for

What is the Information Session?
The Information Session is a two-hour introduction that to the foster care system and the children and families involved with it. Detailed information about the roles, responsibilities, and expectations for resource families is included. As this session is designed to help families decide if the ministry of foster care or adoption is a good fit for their family, married couples should attend together. Due to the sensitive nature of some content, children are not permitted to attend and child care is not provided. During the Information Session, COBYS provides attendees with the application form for those wanting to pursue becoming a resource family.

COBYS hosts Information Sessions from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of each month (sessions on the first Tuesdays are on Zoom, and on the third Tuesdays are in-person at 444 Murry Hill Circle, Lancaster, PA 17601), and from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in-person on the second Monday of every month. Our training room is accessed by steps. Please notify us if this is a challenge for you so we can make accommodations.

What is Pre-Service Training?
Pre-Service Training is the 27-hour training process for families to be able to be approved as a resource family. Through classroom instruction, activities, and interviews with COBYS resource families this Training addresses the following topics:

  • Laws, regulations, and procedures of foster care and adoption
  • Expectations and motivations of resource families
  • Abuse and neglect
  • Grief and loss
  • Childhood development
  • Discipline
  • Diversity
  • Birth families
  • Trauma and attachment
  • Impact of foster care and adoption on the resource family
  • CPR/First Aid

Upon COBYS’ receipt of a Resource Parent Application, families are eligible to attend our Pre-Service Training, which is offered at Murry Hill Center seven times per year in daytime and evening formats. Daytime trainings consist of three full days and one optional evening and are held in March, June, August and November. Evening trainings consist of eight consecutive Thursdays and begin the first week of January, April, and September. Our training room is accessed by steps. Please notify us if this is a challenge for you so we can make accommodations.

I loved the Girls Circle and the people who led it. They made me feel important. –Girls Circle participant