What are the steps to getting licensed?
Step 1- Watch the 8 minute introductory foster care orientation video. This video is was produced by the Department of Child Safety (DCS) and it is a requirement to start the process. You can access the videos here . You will follow the steps on the DCS website. You will be asked about the type of care you are interested in and to provide your contact information. If you are not ready to provide your contact information after the first video, please attend one of our Meet & Greets to answer any questions you may have.
Step 2- Once you watch the DCS videos, you will want to pick a foster care agency to work with. You can review the list of agencies here or come to one of our Meet & Greets to meet agency representatives in person.
Step 3- You will meet one on one with your agency to start the application process. You will be scheduled to get your fingerprints completed, assigned a user name and password for the State's online application system, review qualifications and paperwork, and identify a training date and time that works best for your schedule. Please note, you are not able to start the training until your fingerprint clearance card has been granted. In most cases, this takes 3-5 business days.
Step 4- Start training!! Have fun and make sure to ask questions when you meet with your trainers. During this time you will also start the home study process.
Step 5- Your home study... the applicant(s), all adults and children in the household will be interviewed. You will have a home inspection completed by the State that your licensing agency will prepare you for. All documents needed for verification and for our file will be collected. This includes but are not limited to, proof of income, vehicle registration, insurance, marriage certificates or divorce decrees, bankruptcy discharge documents, immunizations for children in home and physician statements.
Step 6- The whole process takes between 3-6 months. Once your application and home study have been completed it will be submitted to the State for review and approval. The State may ask for additional information and once it is received your license will be issued. The review process can take 1 week or it can take a month. Congrats you are licensed!
Frequently asked questions:
Q- How much money does a family have to make to be a foster parent?
A- There is no minimum income listed in rule. Your income has to be greater than your expenses. You will be asked to provide a monthly budget and provide pay stubs, taxes or other proof to support the income you state you receive. If you are a kinship family, please speak to your agency if your income is below your expenses. Depending on the circumstances we may be able to get permission to move forward.
Q- Do I have to be married?
A- No you do not have to be married. You can be unmarried, married, co-habituating heterosexual couple, gay married couple, gay co-habituating couple, or divorced. The focus is on the stability of the relationships. This will be evaluated during the interview process.
Q- Do I have to own my home?
A- No, you do not need to own a home. We license families who own homes, rent homes and apartments. Our main concern is that you live in a home that is safe.