Each State has specific steps that individuals or families must take to become licensed, certified, or approved foster parents. This page provides general information and resources about foster parenting and becoming a foster parent, including State and local examples.
6 Foster Care Skills You Need to Know Before Being a Foster Parent
Highlights basic foster care skills such the ability to assess oneself and a family's fitness for fostering, establish and maintain open communication with birth family, agency staff and school officials, manage challenging behaviors, and cope with sense of loss after a child's reunification with birth family.
Background Checks for Prospective Foster, Adoptive, and Kinship Caregivers
Becoming a Foster Parent
National Foster Parent Association
Illustrates the steps involved in becoming a foster parent with its challenges and rewarding opportunities, including a particular emphasis on key qualifications, the approval process, training, and licensure.
Frequently Asked Questions From LGBTQ+ Prospective Foster and Adoptive Parents
Home Study Requirements for Prospective Foster Parents
How Do I Become a Foster Parent?
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children’s Bureau (2019)
Provides an overview of the foster care system and the role foster parents play, as well as State and national resources to find more targeted information on becoming a foster parent.
How You Can Help
Casey Family Programs (2017)
Suggests ways, at various levels of commitment, individuals can help create permanent, lifelong connections for children and youth.
Open Your Heart to a Child/Youth in Foster Care
Provides information to prospective foster and adoptive parents on educating themselves about the child welfare system, including attending an initial resource parent orientation meeting. The webpage provides links on next steps in the adoption and foster care process, including getting approval, receiving a placement, finalizing an adoption, and more.
State and local examples
Become a Foster Parent
Tennessee Department of Children’s Services
Provides information on becoming a foster parent, foster care placements, and foster parent trainings and handbooks.
Become a Foster Parent: Requirements & Processes
KidsPeace Foster Care
Answers frequently asked questions about becoming a foster parent.
Live Well San Diego
Provides an overview, eligibility information, and resources on becoming a foster parent in San Diego County.
Illinois Department of Children and Family Services
Provides information on becoming a foster parent in Illinois, including tip sheets in English and Spanish on the top 10 things to know about being a resource parent and the difference it makes in your community.
Requirements to Become a Resource Parent
Alameda County Resource Families
Provides information on the eight steps required to become a foster or adoptive parent in Alameda County. The webpage links to the Resource Parent Introductory Handbook (PDF - 11,499 KB) and the department's policy (PDF - 31 KB) on working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth.
State Guides and Manuals Search for Resource Parents about Out-of-Home Care
Child Welfare Information Gateway
Offers State-specific information to educate foster parents about their role and responsibilities, parenting and visitation guidelines, access to resources and support, and more.