Foster Care

Spero Foster Care provides homes in Southern Illinois for children ages birth to 21. We believe that ongoing trauma-based therapeutic services, combined with long-term, consistent, and non-judgmental care-taking help youth prepare for a successful childhood and self-sufficiency. Our program provides ongoing training and support to foster parents, who are an integral part of each child’s treatment team.

Spero Family Services Foster Parents receive


  • Monthly Training and Support
  • Inclusion with Child and Family Team Meetings
  • CARE Training 
  • Lead Foster Parent Peer Support
  • A Team with a Faith Based Mission

“Spero Foster Care staff really care about the children & work beside the Foster Parents to provide the best care for each individual child. Our little blessing was born with complex medical issues which has required several surgeries.  He is now a very active toddler because of the doctors, nurses, therapists, & early intervention services that were provided to him through Spero’s specialized program.”
-Spero Foster Parent

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I become a foster parent?

Contact our Licensing and Outreach Specialist, Felicia Nalley to get started!


What is foster care?

Foster care is a temporary safe haven for children who are at serious risk of harm. When possible, the Department of Children and Family Services and other agencies work with families to reunite them. When that simply is not possible, DCFS works to find children a permanent, loving home through adoption or guardianship.

How will a child be matched with my family?

You can express a preference on the age, race, and sex of the child that you think would best match your family circumstances, skills, and priorities. Agencies do their best to find placements for children that are a good fit for both the child and the foster family. However, it is important to be willing to get to know a child as an individual and to keep an open mind about the parenting you can do.


What challenges do children in foster care need help overcoming?

It’s important to remember that all children who have experienced the trauma of being separated from their family and placed in foster care will require love and support from their foster parents. It’s common for children in this situation to feel frightened, irritable, confused, or angry, and they may even see their new foster home as a form of punishment. However, foster caregivers will have access to services and training that can help children adjust to their new homes and learn to thrive.


What kind of support will we receive?

Financial Assistance

Foster parents in “regular” foster care programs receive a monthly check to cover the child’s food, clothing, and personal allowance. The amount of the check is based on the child’s age.

Medical Care

Each foster child gets a medical card from the state which guarantees payment for all necessary medical care and preventive medicine. You will be given a number to call to get help in selecting a physician for a child placed with you. The medical card is also accepted by many hospitals and for approved prescriptions. You should not pay any medical bills directly.

Education Services

Foster children go to regular public schools unless they need special education, for which the state can pay. Private or parochial school tuition cannot be paid by the State. Foster children may attend private or parochial schools, but only if the tuition is paid by some other source.

Personal Support

Your supervising child welfare agency and your child’s caseworker are responsible for supporting your family on a daily basis. Each agency, including DCFS, has developed internal support, which includes foster parent support groups, newsletters, after-hours telephone numbers, and community resources.

Support from DCFS

The Department of Children and Family Services provides overall support to licensed private child welfare agencies with foster care programs while maintaining its own foster care program. DCFS also directly provides universal foster care information and impartial advocacy for all foster families statewide.

24-hour On-Call Support

A Spero Family Services Foster Care staff member is always available to chat with you anytime you may need them. 



How long does the licensing and training process take?

The licensing and training process takes from four to six months. After that process and your training are completed, you will be ready to accept children into your home. However, the actual timing depends on the specific children who come into care, their needs, and the appropriate fit with your home.

Can we take a child in foster care on vacation with us?

In most cases, yes. It is important to wrap children in the full family experience. But if it involves out-of-state travel, you must call your child’s caseworker in advance for approval.

Do children in foster care get to see their birth parents?

Yes, in most cases visits between birth parents and children are encouraged. When a child gets the opportunity to see their birth parents, it is a chance for them to work through the emotional trauma from the separation and it is an important step in the reunification process. However, there are situations where it may not be in the best interest of the child to maintain a relationship with their biological parents.

Can I adopt a child through foster care?

The primary goal is to reunite children in foster care with their biological families. If reunification is not possible for a foster child in your care, you may discuss adoption with your caseworker. You will need to meet all the standard requirements for becoming an adoptive parent. For more information on adoption, please call the Adoption Information Center of Illinois at 1-800-572-2390.

How will I feel after the child is reunited with their family?

It is natural to experience grief after the child has been reunited with their family. However, it is also incredibly rewarding knowing that you played an essential role in the healing of that family. Every child needs a support system and foster parents can still be a part of that even after the child is no longer living with them. Many foster parents maintain a relationship with their foster children even into adulthood.

“Fostering isn’t easy, but it’s worth every second.”

-Spero Foster Parent

YOU can make a difference in the life of a child that needs your support, guidance, and love!

Join our team and help us provide hope, help, and healing.