Steps to Become a Foster Parent
Please let your assigned worker know if you need help or if you cannot meet any requirement.
Choose Your Agency
You can choose to work with DCYF’s Licensing Division or a Child Placing Agency (CPA). Learn more about the CPA’s that serve your region, and make the best choice for your family. Rest assured all paths lead to the same place – caring for children and youth experiencing foster care.
Child Placement Agency Contact Lists
What region am I in? DCYF Regional Map
All future foster parents are required to take two trainings:
- Caregiver Core Training (CCT)
- First-Aid, CPR and Blood Borne Pathogens
Complete an Application in the Washington Caregiver Application Portal (WA CAP) by Binti
You will enter your name, address, date of birth, and other basic information.
During this process, you will also complete a background check. If you have been charged with a crime in the past, please do not assume this will prevent you from getting licensed. Talk about your individual circumstance with your assigned worker.
Meet with Staff for Home Visits and Interviews
After you turn in your foster home application, you will be assigned a licensing division (LD) staff person known as your licensor. Your licensor will connect with you and help you navigate these tasks:
- Completing interviews, both in-person and virtually. At least one interview must happen in your home and include the home inspection.
- Review the Foster Home Licensing Inspection Checklist, to learn what LD staff are looking for.
- Interviewing household members including your children.
- Contacting your adult children (if you have adult children).
- For couples, LD staff will complete at least one interview with both adults and another interview with each adult individually.
Your Assigned Licensor will Complete a Home Study
The home study is a report that your assigned worker will complete when they are finished collecting information from you.
The home study puts together all the information gathered during the licensing process and shows that you are able to provide a safe, healthy, and nurturing home. You will get to review a draft of your home study before it is final and be given a copy of the completed home study.
Licensing Process Road Map
The licensing process takes approximately 120 days from application to license.
Follow along and track where you’re at in the licensing process:
Who Can Become a Foster Parent?
- Anyone over the age of 21 is welcome to apply
- Renters or home owners, apartment dwellers welcome
- Single, married, partnered people are all welcome
- All gender orientations, gender non-conforming individuals welcome
- All sexual orientations welcome
- Pet owners
- Single income earners