Foster Parent Qualifications
In order to assure a safe and stable home for children in foster care, there are some basic qualifications that all families are required to meet. Foster parents must:
- be motivated by a desire to help children and youth whose character and talents would otherwise remain undiscovered and undeveloped.
- be willing to share your time and skills with foster children and other foster parents.
- be willing to learn and practice new parenting skills.
- be married couples or single individuals aged 21 or older. Unmarried couples are unable to be licensed.
- be US citizens or permanent legal residents.
- pass background checks, along with anyone in the home over the age of 18.
- be financially stable and able to support your family without assistance from the state.
- be healthy enough to care for children as determined by your own doctor.
- not be licensed to do both foster care and day care at the same time.
- be able to communicate your address, phone number, and any emergency information in English.
Foster parents can be homeowners or renters. But there are physical aspects of your home that are important. Your home must:
- be clean, in good repair, and free from health and fire hazards.
- have a landline or cell phone that will stay in the home.
- have bedrooms with at least 40 square feet per child. If a child is in a room by themselves, the room should be 80 square feet.
- have a bed for each individual foster child.
- have a smoke alarm, carbon monoxide detector, and a fire extinguisher on each level of the home.
- have an easily accessible first aid kit.
- store medications in a locked container.
- store any dangerous chemicals – including many cleaning supplies – in a locked area.
- lock away firearms and ammunition separately.
- have a gate or locked cover for swimming pools or hot tubs, if applicable.
These basic qualifications are enforced by the State Office of Licensing. If you have any questions about whether you or your home qualify, you’re welcome to contact us or you can call them directly at (801) 538-4242