COBYS Foster Care

What are the characteristics of children that COBYS places with families?
COBYS provides care for children from birth to age 18, representing various ethnic/racial groups. Our greatest need is families willing to parent teens, sibling groups, minority children, and medically fragile children. Generally, children in foster care have experienced abuse and/or neglect, which can result in challenging behaviors during their healing process.

What types of foster and adoptive resource families are needed?
Various types of families are needed, including married or single persons, families with or without biological children, and families with or without a stay-at-home care-giver. Especially needed are racial and ethnic minority families.

Can I specify what type of child I wish to foster or adopt?
Resource families may specify preferences for age, gender, race, number of children, and willingness to care for children with special needs. However, the more specific the preferences, the longer the time that may be needed to match families with children. Most children placed specifically for adoption through COBYS are older than age eight.

What is the possibility of a foster child being adopted?
All children adopted through COBYS begin as foster children. The longer a child remains in foster care, the greater the possibility of the child being placed for adoption. Resource parents can state their interest in adoption upon entrance into the COBYS program, and efforts are made to place potentially pre-adoptive children with families who desire to adopt.

How long are most foster children in care?
Foster children generally remain in care for a minimum of six months but not longer than two years. Birth families typically receive 15 months to correct the issues that led to the child's placement in foster care.

What are my transportation responsibilities?
Resource parents are responsible for transporting children to all appointments and visits (although travel expenses are reimbursed). Most foster children have court-ordered, supervised visits with biological family members. Resource parents provide transportation to and from these visits. Caseworkers supervise the actual visits.

What are my financial responsibilities?
For all children in care COBYS provides a per diem reimbursement for living expenses, medical and mental healthcare, a clothing allowance, and reimbursement for travel costs. Families are responsible for any costs associated with their approval process, including criminal background checks, and any home improvements needed to meet home safety requirements.

How much does it cost to adopt a child through COBYS?
Adoption of children in Pennsylvania's foster care system is heavily subsidized to encourage timely permanency for children. In most cases adoptions are finalized with little or no cost to the adoptive family. Sometimes financial assistance also is available following an adoption.

If I decide I want to adopt, must I complete additional training?
No. COBYS' pre-service training process prepares resource families to foster and adopt children.

What if a foster child doesn't adjust well to our home?
Support services are provided to help meet the needs of the foster child and resource family. If a resource family still is unable to meet the foster child's needs, an alternative placement will be found.

Are counseling services provided?
Counseling for foster children is covered by their health insurance. Caseworker support is provided through monthly home visits and regular phone contacts. Counseling is provided at no cost to resource parents on an as needed basis.

How much will we interact with our foster child's birth parents?
Resource parents and birth parents do come in contact periodically, especially when regular visits are scheduled. The most effective resource parents build positive relationships with their foster children's birth parents and become a source of encouragement to them.

As a Christian organization, what kind of expectations does COBYS place on its resource families?
COBYS desires that resource families seek to meet the physical, emotional, cultural, and spiritual needs of foster children. Full participation in the life of a church community is strongly encouraged.

More questions? Please contact a COBYS Resource Home Coordinator at