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Foster Parent Requirements

The most important requirements are having love, patience and a commitment to the future of our community’s children.

Foster parents must be at least 21 years old, and can be single, married or partnered, work outside the home (including full time) and have children of their own in the home. Each of the four levels of foster care requires certain qualifications and a specific number of training hours, personal references and experience for certification.

All levels of certification have the following general requirements:

  • Attend a new-family orientation
  • Pass a criminal background and caregiver check
  • Have no prior history of involvement with a child welfare agency due to an upheld accusation of child abuse and/or neglect
  • Possess sufficient verifiable sources of income
  • Meet certain safety requirements for the home and have homeowner’s or renter’s liability insurance
  • Have bedroom space for a foster child that meets licensing standards
  • Have vehicle liability insurance and a valid driver’s license if transporting a foster child
  • Participate in professional training based on certification level
  • Be willing and able to work with the child’s biological family
  • Be willing to share experiences with other potential foster parents
  • Level 2 foster parents must complete 9 hours of training prior to having a foster child placed. During the first two years of licensure, foster/adoptive parents must complete 33 hours of foundation training and 3 training hours that include information about trauma informed care.

Download complete list of requirements

In addition to level 2 foster care requirements you must meet at least 3 of the following for Treatment Foster Care:

  • 1 year experience as a foster parent or kinship provider
  • Minimum 5 years experience working with or parenting children
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Minimum 500 hours experience as a respite care provider for children under the supervision of a human services agency
  • College, vocational, technical or advanced degree in the area of child’s treatment needs such as nursing, medicine, social work, or psychology
  • A substantial relationship with the child; need case manager approval
  • Work or professional experience demonstrating the knowledge, skill, ability, and motivation to meet the needs of a child with a level of need of 3
  • Level 3 foster parents must complete 42 hours of training prior to having a child placed in their home. This training is completed in 90-120 days. During the first two years of licensure, foster parents must complete 18 hours of training.

If you are still unsure which level of licensing is right for you, take a look at a side by side comparison of level 2 and 3.

How long does the whole process take? View the licensing timeline.

For more information on our services, please visit our Resources section for contact information, meeting schedules, forms and more.