All potential foster parents, regardless of which agency is selected, must meet the same approval requirements set by the state. It is important to remember that the agency you select will be working with you during the approval process to assist you in meeting the requirements. You may be somewhat surprised at the thoroughness of the approval process and the length of time it takes to become a foster parent. Please keep in mind that caring for someone else’s child will have an impact on your family life which will require some adjustments and a firm commitment on your part. The more informed we are about you and your family, the better able we are to place children appropriate for your family. Following are the basic approval requirements.
- Applicants must be 21 years of age.
- Applicants may be single or married.
- Applicants may live in own apartment or house.
- Applicants are fingerprinted for a criminal background check.
- Every member of the household 18 years or older must be fingerprinted for a criminal background check.
- Applicants must be able to meet family’s financial obligations.
- Applicants are requested to submit an initial medical examination and reexamination every two years for every member of the household to determine their physical and emotional ability to care for children.
- Applicants are requested to provide three references regarding their parenting ability.
- Applicants are required to complete a minimum of 27 hours of pre-service education.
- The applicant’s home will be inspected by personnel from the health department for safety and sanitation, and by the fire department.
- A minimum of two visits to the applicant’s home is completed by the approval worker to discuss the types of children most appropriate for them, the proposed sleeping arrangements and the family lifestyle.
- A child support clearance must be conducted.
- Applicant must agree not to use physical punishment.