Home Study Requirements for Prospective Foster Parents - Wyoming

Date:

Who May Apply

Citation: Code of Rules 049-0029-5

The child-placing agency shall develop procedures to recruit and approve foster parents capable of providing quality services, while ensuring reasonable and adequate safeguards to children and their families.

Foster parents shall be age 21 or older.

Training Requirements

Citation: Code of Rules 049-0029-3; 049-0029-5

Foster parents shall complete a prescribed number of hours of orientation training. The training shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Organization policies
  • Responsibilities for reporting child abuse and/or neglect
  • The staff member's role and responsibilities in relation to the child and family and permanency
  • Personal and professional ethics and conduct
  • Record-keeping requirements
  • Cultural competency
  • Separation and loss inherent in out-of-home care for children and families
  • Confidentiality requirements
  • Risk and impact of substance abuse on the child population
  • Suicide prevention and intervention
  • Procedures for safe transportation of children
  • Behavior management and appropriate discipline
  • Crisis prevention and intervention

Foster parents must have current certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid prior to receiving certification.

Foster parents shall complete a prescribed number of hours of annual training that may include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Emergency plans
  • Suicide prevention and intervention
  • Prevention of workplace violence, homicide, and other criminal acts
  • Confidentiality
  • Behavior management and appropriate discipline
  • Crisis prevention and intervention
  • Other areas of annual training that are child and family related

All foster parents shall complete an 18-hour orientation program before they work directly with children in care and 18 hours of annual training.

Minimum Standards for Foster Homes

Citation: Code of Rules 049-0029-3

All forms of tobacco and alcohol shall be prohibited in the home and all motor vehicles while transporting children. Foster parents shall prohibit all use of alcohol and illegal drugs or the abuse of legal substances by any person in the home, in any vehicle used by children, and in the presence of children.

The overall condition of the buildings and grounds shall be maintained in a clean, uncluttered, sanitary, and healthful manner. The home shall have the following:

  • Smoke detectors installed on all floors and centrally located in the hall or area giving access to each sleeping area
  • A working fire extinguisher
  • A carbon monoxide detector following manufacturer's recommendations for placement
  • A working telephone
  • A first aid kit

All poisonous and toxic materials shall be stored in a safe location that is inaccessible to children. Combustible and flammable materials shall be stored outside of main living areas and shall not create a fire hazard. Firearms and ammunition shall be stored and locked separately from each other in an area that is inaccessible to children.

Vehicles used to transport children shall be maintained in safe condition and comply with applicable motor vehicle laws. The driver must be at least age 21 and possess a valid driver's license. Each child who is a passenger shall be secured in a child safety restraint system, as approved for age and weight, in accordance with State law and manufacturer's specifications.

Domestic animals residing in the home must be current on all vaccinations as recommended by a licensed veterinarian.

The home shall have sufficient bedroom space to allow at least 75 square feet for the first occupant of a bedroom and 50 square feet for each additional occupant. There shall be no more than four children to a bedroom. Children of the opposite sex shall not sleep in the same room. All children shall have an individual bed.

Approval Process

Citation: Code of Rules 049-0029-3; 049-0029-5

A Wyoming abuse and/or neglect central registry check, an abuse and/or neglect central registry check from any other State lived in for the past 5 years and a fingerprint-based national criminal history record check shall be completed for all foster parents and for adult household members of the foster home.

The home study also must include the following:

  • Five positive references for each prospective foster parent, including the following:
    • Three nonrelative references from persons who have known the applicant for at least 2 years and have a general knowledge about the applicant's ability to care for children
    • Two relative references, if available, to assess family relationships
  • A review of a physician's statement verifying that the applicant is physically, cognitively, and emotionally capable of providing care for the children
  • Three or more interviews, as follows:
    • An interview with each prospective foster parent and household member separately
    • Two interviews at the family home with all family members present
  • A safety and health inspection of the home

A written home study shall include documentation of all interviews and information gathered during home study process and also shall include:

  • The motivation for becoming a foster family
  • Social history and current functioning
  • Family composition, birth order, parents' marriages, separations, other children of prior relationships
  • Physical and mental health assessment
  • Parenting
  • Family relationships
  • Employment and finances
  • Substance use history of family living in the home
  • Recommendation of approval or disapproval and the basis for recommendation

Grounds for Withholding Approval

Citation: Code of Rules 049-0029-2; 049-0029-3

The Department of Family Services may deny certification upon proof of noncompliance or violation of any Federal, State, local law, or department rules. This includes noncompliance with health or fire inspections. Reasons for the denial of certification include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Consistently failing to maintain rules prescribed and published by the department
  • Furnishing or making any misleading or false statement to a department employee
  • Failing to maintain, equip, and keep the home in a safe and sanitary condition

A person whose name appears on the central registry as substantiated must not be approved for foster care. A person with a criminal history record may not be approved for foster care if that person has been convicted or has a pending deferred prosecution of a felony involving the following:

  • Child abuse and/or neglect
  • Spousal abuse
  • A crime against a child or vulnerable adult
  • A crime involving violence, including rape, sexual assault, or homicide, but not including other physical assault or battery
  • One of the following if the conviction occurred within the last 5 years:
    • Felony physical assault
    • Felony battery
    • A felony drug-related offense
    • Any other crime that raises concern for the safety or well-being of children or others

No foster parent or adult household member who has been charged with a crime outlined above and awaiting trial may provide care or be present in the home pending the outcome of the criminal proceeding.

Kinship Foster Care

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

Foster to Adopt

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

Interjurisdictional Approval

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 14-5-101

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

Wyoming Department of Family Services, Foster Care

State regulations full-text searchable database: click on 'Current Rules': select 'Family Services, Dept. of (049)'; 'Providers of Substitute Care Services, Certification of (0029).'