What is a Foster Family

Considering becoming a foster family? Summit is here to provide you with information about doing so and to support the process.

A foster family provides a child who is not their own a temporary family, caring for his or her physical, emotional and educational development and wellbeing. Foster care is completed either when the child reaches the age of 18, if the child returns to his or her biological parents or is adopted.

Research shows that a foster family - in contrast to out of community shelter institutions - constitutes an optimal temporary solution for children removed from their home, in light of the great importance of a healthy family unit to the normal development of the child. The inclusion of a child in a foster family allows him to maintain the experience of growth and development in a family with normal and functioning parental figures while continuing with his studies and social interactions. At the same time the foster family is responsible to maintain connections with the child’s parents while functioning as the desired familial model, facilitate the formation of the child’s identity, and prepare him for his return to his parents’ home.

Children that are referred to foster families

Babies, children and teenagers who are up to the age of 18 and are referred to the Summit Institute by the welfare departments, sometimes following court orders, and who meet one or more of the following criteria:

1. Children who experienced abuse and neglect due to dysfunctional parenting.

2. Children with emotional difficulties after the occurrence of a severe crisis in their original families such as: orphanage, divorce, physical and/or mental illnesses of their parents who cannot take care of the child for a while.

3. Children at risk, disabled and/or retarded children who were forced to leave their homes.

Reimbursement of expenses for child care

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services provides foster families a fixed allowance as reimbursement of expenses for treatment of children in their home. A foster family is defined by the National Insurance Institute as a volunteer family. The funds provided for the purpose of maintaining the child are exempt from income tax.

In addition, the Summit Institute provides considerable assistance to foster families using a diverse and professional benefits basket  aimed at preparing and implementing the therapeutic program for children.

Maternity allowance for foster families

In accordance with an amendment to the law, as of 9.8.2011 foster families may also be eligible to receive maternity allowance known by the name fosterage allowance.

Persons eligible to receive fosterage allowance are parents in a family that was approved to serve as foster family by competent entities, and that received took to their home a child up to the age of 10 for fosterage purposes for a period longer than 6 months.

Terms of eligibility in accordance with the maternity allowance law

1. An employee (male or female, at their choice) who discontinued their work after taking in foster child – for the period in which they stopped working.

2. For the female spouse – if she accumulated a training period of 10 months of work out of the last 14 months, or 15 months of work out of the last 22 months, she shall be entitled to full fosterage allowance for 98 days; if she accumulated 6 months of work out of the last 10 months she shall be entitled for partial fosterage allowance for 49 days.

For the male spouse – if he accumulated a full training period of 10 months of work out of the last 14 months, or 15 months of work out of the last 22 months.

3. If at least one year passed since the end of maternity leave, adoption, or previous fosterage of one of the spouses.

Note: fosterage allowance shall not be paid to more than one family for that same period of time for the same child.

Spouses may share their leave under the following conditions:

Each period of leave shall not fall below 21 days,

The spouse who was replaced returned to work. A confirmation from the employer should be furnished concerning this matter. If the spouse is self-employed he will receive a declaration to sign.

Fosterage allowance shall not be paid to two spouses for the same period of time for the same child.

Term of eligibility

Eligibility for maternity allowance starts on the day the parents took in the child to their home for fosterage purposes.

A child who was taken in by a foster family before becoming 3 years old, and the training period accrued by one of the parents is 10 months of work out of 14, or 15 months of work out of 22 – the term of eligibility for leave due to fosterage shall be 14 weeks.

If the mother accumulated a training period of 6 months of work out of the last 14 months – her term of eligibility for leave due to fosterage shall be 7 weeks.

A child between the ages 3-10 who was taken in by a foster family and the training period that was accumulated is at least 6 months of work out of the last 14 months – the term of eligibility due to fosterage shall be 4 weeks only.

Sick pay law for foster families

A foster parent may be absent from his/her workplace due to the sickness of a foster child until the age of 12, in accordance with the provisions set forth in the Sick Pay Law (Absence due to Child Illness). 

Contact us to learn more about becoming a Foster Family by clicking here

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