Start the Process
It is recommended that you begin the application process to become a foster parent a couple months before you plan to welcome children into your home, as it can take that long to complete the paperwork, home inspections, and home study process.
1) Choose a Licensing Agency
When you are ready to begin, the first step is to choose a licensing agency. The agency that you choose will be your point of contact regarding the status of your foster home. You will be assigned a worker at that agency, who will help you through the application process and will be assigned to your family as long as you are fostering. As a foster parent, there will be many caseworkers with whom you will interact (DSS foster care and adoption caseworkers, a volunteer Guardian Ad Litem, etc.); however, the majority of these workers represent the children in foster care, while your licensing agency represents you as the foster family.
2) Choose Standard or Therapeutic
To choose an agency, we recommend that you begin by deciding if you want to become a standard or therapeutic foster parent. Children in therapeutic foster care require a higher level of care to meet their needs. The map above is designed to help you connect with licensing agencies in your county.
3) Contact Agencies to Narrow your Choice
Next, we recommend that you narrow your selection by contacting the agencies directly to ask them about their services and/or ask people you know personally who foster which organization they recommend.
Please note that the requirements to become a foster parent are mandated by the state and are the same across all agencies, and agencies may choose to implement additional requirements for their candidates if they choose to do so. For example, in this state, some organizations are faith-based and have an additional doctrinal requirement.
For further questions about choosing an agency, please contact us at email@example.com. We will be happy to educate you about your options; however, please be aware that we are non-partisan and cannot make a recommendation about which agency is right for you.