Foster Care – Bringing Families Together

Vista Maria will never stop — because every young person deserves to start.

We believe deeply in the power of families, and sometimes those safe homes and supportive people are found with compassionate foster and adoptive families. So that all children will know they are worthy of love and healing, Vista Maria helps young people and families find each other.

In 2023, we served 257 foster youth and licensed dozens of new homes to welcome children as they recover from trauma and neglect. We also celebrated 28 adoptions – children and parents committing to a lifetime of love and support.

Even with each successful match, there are many other children waiting for their chance to feel safe, cared for, and inspired. In 2024 we need 30 new foster families to step forward and welcome a child into their home. You might be that person to change a young person’s life.

Vista Maria offers a continuum of assistance with fostering that may lead to adoption services. There are many ways for you to help us to bring hope and security to children, from helping to raise awareness or donating time or resources, to opening your heart and home to a foster child. Vista Maria is here to work together with you each day as we bring strength and love enough for everyone, so that one day they can do the same for others.

These little people that I've had the privilege of being in my home have truly made me a better person. My job isn't to try fix them or their first families but to lift them up and provide safety and security.


Types of Foster Care

Vista Maria offers several different foster care programs based on the needs and background of the children we serve.

General Foster Care

Foster parents licensed for general foster care take kids with low to moderate needs.

Children in General Foster Care range in age from birth to 18 years old. The trauma these children have experienced does not always cause needs that require special attention. However, every child handles being in foster care differently. Some kids may need help with their emotional, social and physical development.

Relative Foster Care

Relative Foster parents take care of foster children who are members of their family.

Treatment Foster Care

Specialized foster parents care for children with unique needs.

Children in the Treatment Foster Care program are aged 3-17 and have behavioral, emotional and/or physical needs that require more intensive care. In some cases this is a result of these kids having a greater difficulty handling the trauma that they have experienced. Children in this program may be coming from a more restrictive setting, or maybe another foster home. This program is designed to stabilize a child’s mental health and behaviors in order to maintain their placement in the community.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I learn more to decide if I want to become a foster parent?

If you have ever thought about being a foster parent, attending an orientation class is the best way to find out if foster parenting is right for you. At the end of the class you can choose to continue or you may want to take more time. No matter what your decision is, Vista Maria is here for you.

How old do I need to be in order to foster children?

Foster parents for children in General Foster Care must be 18 years or older. Foster parents for children in Specialized Foster Care need to be 25 years or older. We describe the different kinds of fostering further below.

Are there both boys and girls in Vista Maria’s foster care program?

Yes, Vista Maria serves both male and female children in our foster care program.

Can I become a foster parent if I’m single or living with a partner?

Foster parents can be single, married, living with a partner or two adults sharing the home. However, any adult in the home who will be responsible for caring for a foster child must be on the license.

How long will it take to get licensed?

Our goal is to license homes in 90 days if at all possible, and we will be there to guide you at every step. The process includes collecting key documents and application information, training, and application review.

Who provides the training?

Vista Maria offers both Orientation and CPR/First Aid training. While you must take Orientation with Vista Maria, you are welcome to take CPR/First Aid wherever you choose.

How long will it take to finish training?

While Orientation is the first class that must be taken, PRIDE and CPR/First Aid can be taken in any order. Every class is scheduled at least once a month, so it is possible to complete all trainings within one month.

Does training cost anything?

All trainings are provided at no cost to you, and all are led by a certified instructor.

Wrap Around Program

Vista Maria’s Wraparound Program is a family-driven, strength-based, solution focused service aimed to help youth and families achieve important changes, needs and goals. Every family creates unique plans that fits their needs, beliefs and wants.

  • Family-driven: Resources and services are centered around you, your family and your choices.
  • Strength-based: Building on what is already working in your life to meet your goals.

Program staff assist with providing resources and services to youth and families who express a need in particular areas of their lives. Some examples include:

  • Academic support
  • Goal-setting and planning
  • Emotional or behavioral counseling
  • Job applications
  • After-school activities
  • Vocational training
  • Mentorships
  • Continuing adult education
  • Professional development