Children, Youth and Families

Steps To Take

  • First, get the phone number from the foster parent recruitment contact list and call to speak with a specialist who will answer your questions about the foster care program.
  • Next, you will be invited to an orientation meeting where you will be given a detailed overview of the foster care program and the licensing and application process.
  • After that, you will begin 20 to 30 hours of foster parent training. The kinds of topics you will discuss include:
    • Reasons you want to foster a child
    • Your childhood
    • Your marriage (if applicable)
    • Your lifestyle and whether it could accommodate a child
    • Your finances
    • Your parenting philosophy
    • Your support system

During this time, a study of your home will be conducted. A background check of law enforcement records will be made for you and your family. Your friends, relatives and employers will be contacted to give character references for you and your family.

  • When you have successfully completed the preparation sessions and the home study has been completed with a recommendation for you to become a foster parent, you will receive a license to be a foster parent. You’ve made it!
  • The entire licensing process should be completed in about four months from the date you attend the orientation session. Once you are licensed as a foster parent, a child can come to live with you. Each year that you continue as a foster parent, you will need to attend 8 hours of recertification training on issues such as child development, attachment disorder, and how to support relationships between children and their families. You will also have to renew your foster parent license annually.

The length of time a child in foster care will live with you will vary from child to child. During the time a child resides with you, the state will reimburse you for at least part of the cost of caring for the child. The reimbursement rate is determined by the age of the child. In addition, health costs for children in care are covered by Medicaid. A foster care counselor will meet with you and the child(ren) in your home at least once a month and will be available to assist with concerns and questions.