Become a Foster Parent

How and Where to Start

The journey to become a foster care parent or a respite care provider (short-term foster care), starts with learning about foster care through information sessions provided by foster care licensing agencies.  In this seminar, you will be introduced to the purpose of the foster care system, the legal procedures of the foster care custody case, the attributes of the current foster care population and the rewards and challenges of fostering.  You will also learn about the eligibility requirements and parental responsibilities for foster parents, along with an overview of the process for licensing your home for fostering and the support services to help ensure success.

Following the informational seminar, you will embark on a series of background checks, foster parent train sessions, home study, and a mutual assessment on your path to becoming a foster parent.  The process takes months and is intended to ensure that children entering foster care will have the environment they need to be safe and have the opportunity to heal after being brought into care.

There are both public licensing agencies (city social services offices) and private licensing agencies to choose from when becoming a foster parent.  The choice is a matter of personal preference, geographic location and level of therapeutic care desired.   Research into local licensing agencies is the best place to start the journey.

For more information on general foster care requirements and parental responsibilities, click here to download our Fact Sheet in pdf format.