When parents are unable, unwilling or unfit to care for a child, then a new home must be found for the child. In some cases, there is little or no chance a child can return to their parents' custody, so they need a new permanent home. In other situations, children only need a temporary home until their parents' situation changes. In any case, the children need somewhere to stay until a permanent home is possible, which is where foster parents home in.
General Requirements for Foster Parents
Each state has different rules, regulations and procedures or guidelines to follow. Most states require that the foster parents be licensed by the state, others simply approve the home for placement of children. Basic requirements usually include:
- Completion of an application for family home license
- Background check, criminal history check and finger printing of each adult member of the household
- Family stability
- Home inspection and personal interview
- Character references
- Minimum age of applicant: 21
- Prior to licensure/certification pre-service training
Foster parents receive a partial reimbursement of costs incurred for each child in your care.
Getting Started: Foster Parenting Through your State Agency
If you decide you are interested in becoming a foster or adoptive parent, please contact your state's foster care specialist. They will be more than happy to discuss with you the process of training and approval of your home.
Getting Started: Become a Foster Parent Through a Private Agency
In most States, there are private agencies also providing adoptive and foster care services. These agencies could use your help as well. To find out about these agencies, contact your state's licensing specialist address and phone. The specialist can provide you with a list of agencies licensed to provide foster care or adoptive services in your state.
For foster parents who need training credit hours to recertify, FosterClub provide training courses that are youth informed. See more here.