Home Study Requirements for Prospective Foster Parents - Kansas

Date: February 2018

Who May Apply

Citation: Admin. Regs. § 28-4-811; Placement Serv. Stds. Man.

Each caregiver shall be qualified by the temperament, emotional maturity, judgment, and the understanding of children necessary to maintain the health, comfort, safety, and welfare of children in foster care.

In policy: Each family foster parent shall be at least age 18 at the time of application for licensure and have been a member of the household for at least 1 year prior to application. Each family foster parent shall provide evidence of child care experience and knowledge of child care methods that will enable any child to develop his or her potential.

Training Requirements

Citation: Admin. Regs. § 28-4-806

Before a license is issued, each applicant shall participate in and successfully complete the following:

  • A face-to-face, instructor-led family foster home preparatory program approved by the department
  • A face-to-face, instructor-led first aid training course that lasts at least 3 hours
  • Training in universal precautions
  • Medication administration training

Each licensee shall obtain at least 8 hours of training in each licensing year, including at least 2 hours obtained through participation in group training, including workshops, conferences, and academic coursework. The training topics shall provide the opportunity to develop competency in two or more of the following areas:

  • Attachment issues and disorders
  • Behavior and guidance, including managing aggressive behavior and deescalation methods, including the use of time-out
  • Child development
  • Communicating with the families of children in foster care
  • Constructive problem-solving
  • Health and home safety
  • Human sexuality
  • Interactions with children
  • Regulations governing family foster homes
  • Medication administration
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Separation issues
  • Specific topics related to children with special needs

Each licensee shall participate in any additional or alternative training required by the sponsoring child-placing agency.

Minimum Standards for Foster Homes

Citation: Admin. Regs. §§ 28-4-816; 28-4-820; 28-4-821; 28-4-823

A vehicle used for transporting a foster child must meet the following requirements:

  • The driver shall hold a valid driver's license.
  • The vehicle shall be maintained in a safe operating condition and covered by accident and liability insurance as required by law.
  • Each individual shall be secured by the use of a seatbelt or a child safety seat when the vehicle is in motion.
  • Smoking in the vehicle is prohibited whether or not the foster child is physically present in the vehicle.

The home shall meet all legal requirements as to zoning, fire protection, water supply, and sewage disposal. The home shall be constructed, arranged, and maintained to provide for the health, safety, and welfare of all occupants and contain sufficient furnishings and equipment to accommodate both the foster family and each child in foster care. At least one bathroom shall have at least one sink, one flush toilet, and one tub or shower. All fixtures shall be working at all times.

A working telephone shall be on the premises and available for use at all times. A smoke detector shall be installed on each level of the home and in each room used for sleeping. One operable carbon monoxide detector shall be installed in an area adjacent to each room used for sleeping.

Each bedroom shall have at least 70 square feet and at least 45 square feet for each child sharing the room. The child shall share the room only with children of the same sex. Each child shall have a separate bed or crib. If bunk beds are used, the upper bunk shall be protected on all sides with rails.

The outside premises of the home shall be free from any objects, materials, and conditions that constitute a danger to the health or safety of a foster child. The play area shall be located, arranged, and maintained to allow for supervision by the caregiver and to reduce the risk of injury. Play equipment shall be located in an area free from hazards, be age appropriate, and be in good repair.

Approval Process

Citation: Admin. Regs. §§ 28-4-802; 28-4-805

Each family assessment shall include at least one individual interview with each household member who is at least age 7 and at least one visit in the family foster home.

With each application, the applicant shall submit a request to conduct a background check by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and a background check by the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services in order to comply with the provisions of K.S.A. 65-516. Each request shall be submitted to the department on a form provided by the department. The request shall list the required information for the following:

  • Each individual age 10 and older who resides, works, or regularly volunteers in the family foster home, excluding children placed in foster care
  • Each caregiver age 14 and older
  • Each resident of a home in which informal visitation occurs who is at least age 10

Each individual who received a family foster home license on or after July 1, 2007, shall obtain the following:

  • For each individual age 18 and older residing in the home, a child abuse and neglect background check from each previous State of residence throughout the 5-year period before the date of application
  • For each licensee, a fingerprint-based background check from the National Crime Identification Databases

Grounds for Withholding Approval

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 65-516; Admin. Regs. § 28-4-803

No licensed child care facility, including a foster home, may have on the premises a person who has:

  • A felony conviction for a crime against persons, including murder, manslaughter, assault, battery, or kidnapping
  • A felony violation of any provision of the controlled substances act
  • A conviction of any act described in chapter 21, including sex offenses, sexual exploitation, incest, abuse, endangerment of a child, or promoting obscenity to minors
  • Committed an act of physical, mental, emotional abuse or neglect, or sexual abuse and who is listed in the child abuse and neglect registry, and:
    • The person has failed to successfully complete a corrective action plan that had been deemed appropriate.
    • The record has not been expunged.
  • Been convicted of arson
  • Been adjudicated a juvenile offender for any act described above
  • Been convicted of a crime that requires registration as a sex offender
  • Had a child removed from the home based on a finding of physical, mental, or emotional abuse or neglect or sexual abuse, and the child has not been returned to the home or the child reaches majority before being returned to the home and the person has failed to satisfactorily complete a corrective action plan approved by the Department of Health and Environment
  • Had parental rights terminated
  • Signed a diversion agreement pursuant to § 22-2906, et seq., or an immediate intervention agreement pursuant to § 38-2346, involving a charge of child abuse or a sexual offense
  • An infectious or contagious disease

In regulation: The granting of a license to any applicant may be refused if the applicant is not in compliance with the requirements in Chapter 65 for licensing child care facilities and all regulations governing family foster homes.

Kinship Foster Care

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 38-2255; Placement Serv. Stds. Man.

For a child who has been removed from the custody of a parent, the court may enter an order awarding custody to a relative of the child or to a person with whom the child has close emotional ties. This person shall not be required to be licensed under article 5 of chapter 65 of the Kansas Statutes.

In policy: A 'relative foster home' provides 24-hour care in the home of a person related to the child. Checks of criminal records and the child abuse/neglect central registry have been completed on all members of the family age 10 and over, and the child€„¢s referring agency has completed an assessment of the home to determine the child€„¢s safety and well-being needs will be met by placement in the relative's home. If department foster care licensing standards are met, relatives may receive financial assistance for the related child from the child's case management provider.

'Kinship/nonrelated kin care' is 24-hour care in a family home setting for not more than 30 days, on a one-time basis, for a specific child with whom the kinship care provider has an existing supportive relationship with the child or the child's parent.

Informal care/kinship care should be the first choice for placement when the child's family cannot provide adequate care. If the kin are not related to the child, they shall be required to meet foster care licensing standards and regulations in order to provide out-of-home services. To expedite placement of children with nonrelated kin, the requirement for the completion of the training required prior to a child being placed in the home is waived. The nonrelated kin shall be required to complete the preservice training prior to licensure.

Foster to Adopt

This issue is not addressed in the statutes and regulations reviewed.

Interjurisdictional Approval

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 38-1202

Any out-of-home placement of a child outside the State is subject to the provisions of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children.

The child shall not be sent into the receiving State until the appropriate public authorities in the receiving State notify the sending agency, in writing, that the proposed placement does not appear to be contrary to the interests of the child.

Links to Resources

Placement Service Standards Manual (PDF - 1,536 KB)