You must have a current foster care license to care for a child in state custody. The main steps to becoming licensed are described below, in the order they usually happen.
Step 1 - Contact your local district office
Call your local Family Services District Office and ask for the Resource Coordinator.
Step 2 - Complete the application package
Complete the application package the Resource Coordinator gives you.
Step 3 - We conduct background checks
This includes checking:
- Adult and child abuse/protection registries
- Motor vehicle violations
- National criminal records
- Past-due child support
- Restraining/relief from abuse orders
Any criminal history is considered in light of how it might affect your family’s ability to provide safe and appropriate care for a child; however, federal law does not allow us to license applicants who have been convicted of certain felonies.
Step 4 - A social worker visits your home
He or she will review the forms you completed, talk to all members of your household, and tour your home to make sure it meets licensing regulations. A typical home visit lasts for a few hours.
Step 5 - We assess the information gathered
We assess your suitability as foster parents using information from the application, home visit, and background checks.
Step 6 - Attend foster parent training
You will be required to complete the Foundations for Kinship and Foster Care Training within the first year of becoming a foster parent, preferably but not necessarily before a child is placed your home. This 24-26.5 hour training is offered in the 12 districts around the state.
Step 7 - Receive your license.
If you meet the licensing requirements, you’ll get a license that’s valid for up to three years. How soon you are asked to take a child into your home will depend on the local need and your flexibility regarding the age, gender, and special needs of the children you are willing to foster.
If you do not meet the licensing requirements, you’ll get a letter explaining why you won’t be licensed and your right to appeal the decision.