May 24, 2023

How To Become a Foster Parent - The 5 Step Guide

How To Become A Foster Parent

There are over 400,000 kids in the U.S. foster care system, and just over 210,000 licensed foster parents. Dedicated, loving foster parents are needed to ensure safe outcomes for kids in foster care. Have you ever considered becoming a foster parent? Each state has their own set of foster care requirements for obtaining a license, most likely including the 5 steps below. 

This is how to become a foster parent: 

Contact Your State’s Child Welfare Agency. 

Child welfare agencies do the heavy lifting in protecting vulnerable kids. They work hard to provide various services, like removing kids from abusive homes or finding them temporary or permanent foster homes, among other options. And they don't only intervene, they also help families and prevent child neglect and abuse. They even offer parenting classes, counseling, and assistance with basic needs. They will provide you with details about the process and specific requirements in your area.

Attend an Orientation Meeting 

Becoming a foster parent is a big decision that requires a lot of thought and consideration. If you're thinking about becoming a foster parent, attending an orientation meeting should be your first step. During the meeting, you will have the opportunity to get your questions answered by experienced foster parents or social workers and possibly connect with others who are also interested in fostering. Keep in mind that the licensing process can be lengthy, but taking that first step and attending the orientation meeting can help you determine if fostering is the right choice for you and your family.

Background Check 

As part of the foster parent licensing process, prospective foster parents must undergo a thorough background check to ensure that they are suitable and safe to care for children in foster care. The background check typically includes criminal records, employment history, personal references, home inspection and possibly more.


Foster care training is a necessary part of the foster care licensing process designed to prepare prospective foster parents for the challenges and responsibilities of caring for children in foster care. Training is 10-30 hours on important foundations for parenting children from different backgrounds who have experienced trauma or neglect. 

Complete and Submit the Application

After completing the required steps, you can fill out the foster care application form and submit it to your state's child welfare agency. The application will be reviewed by state agencies which must be done according to their guidelines established specifically for each municipality. Upon approval, you will be assigned a caseworker.

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