New foster parent applications are on pause from Nov. 1, 2022 - Mar. 1, 2023.
This does not apply to kinship applications, license renewals, and those getting licensed through a child placing agency. 

Overview

Why become a foster parent?

When you become a foster parent, you provide children and youth a safe, loving, temporary home. You make it possible for them to stay in their school, and stay connected to their parents and siblings.

If you have a family member in foster care, learn how you can support them by visiting our kinship page.

What support can I expect to receive?

  • A monthly foster care maintenance payment based on the age and needs of the child or youth. Learn more by reviewing the Foster Care Maintenance Payments Fact Sheet.
  • Reimbursement for transportation expenses.
  • Free, high-quality training through the Alliance for Child Welfare Excellence and great support through the Alliance Caregiver Retention, Education, and Support (CaRES) program. Learn more by visiting the Caregiver Training and CaRES website.
  • A break through respite care. Respite care is when the children placed in your foster home stays in another licensed foster home temporarily. Foster parents earn two days of respite care each month.
  • Access to pass programs and discounts to help with the cost of activities and experiences.

What about adopting from foster care?

For children that are removed from their parents and are not able to return, other permanent options like guardianship and adoption may be considered.

There may be situations where children in foster care will need a non-relative adoptive home. If you are interested in adoption from foster care, please note that Washington requires adoptive families to be fully licensed as a foster parent with the intention of adopting. If you would like to learn more about adoption through foster care, refer to DCYF’s adoption page.