Steps to Become a Foster Parent
Ready to apply?
Have you gathered the information you need, did you get your questions answered, do you feel ready for the next step? If so, you are in the right place! If not, let us help you. Use the contacts on the right side of this page to get your questions answered. If you aren’t sure who to contact, start by filling out an inquiry form.
Choose Your Agency
You can choose to work with DCYF’s Licensing Division or a Child Placing Agency (CPA). Rest assured all paths lead to the same place – caring for children and youth experiencing foster care.
To learn more about working with the Licensing Division:
- Fill out the Foster Parent Inquiry form and CaRES will email you within 48 hours.
- If you would like to talk to someone about fostering, call 1-888-KIDS-414.
To learn more about the CPA’s that serve your region, review your region’s child placing agency contact list. Figure out which region you are in using the DCYF Regional Map.
Child Placement Agency Contact Lists
All future foster parents are required to take two trainings:
- Caregiver Core Training (CCT)
- First-Aid, CPR and Blood Borne Pathogens
Learn about when and where classes are being offered and sign up on the Alliance website
Pause! Wait! Hold On!
Have you gathered the information you need, did you get your questions answered, do you feel ready for the next step? If so, you are in the right place! Use the next set of instructions to request a link to complete your licensing application.
If not, please let us help you. Use the contacts on the right side of this page to get your questions answered. If you aren’t sure who to contact, start by filling out an inquiry form.
Contact a CPA or LD to Complete an Application
If you are getting licensed through a Child Placing Agency (CPA), follow the steps they provide.
If you are getting licensed by DCYF’s Licensing Division, send a request to your region’s local licensing division team letting them know you are ready to apply:
Region 1 - email@example.com
Region 2 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Region 3 - email@example.com
Region 4 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Region 5 - email@example.com
Region 6 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Contacts for Spanish Speakers - Dirección de correo electrónico para personas que hablan Español email@example.com
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:
- Complete 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.
- Interview household members including your children.
- Contact 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.
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 genders and those who are gender non-conforming are welcome
- All sexual orientations welcome
- Pet owners
- Single income earners