How to Become a Foster Parent

Call us toll free at 1.888.433.1344 or complete our contact form.

Pre-Application Process

How do I start the foster care process?

Call HRT and our Family Recruiter will complete a short questionnaire with you regarding your family and household.  Next they will schedule, or have someone call you back to schedule an orientation with you and your family.

I am going through a divorce, can I still apply?

It would be best to wait until the divorce has been finalized.  Some of the necessary information, such as finances, will need to be current.

I have a past arrest record, would this prevent me from becoming a foster parent?

Possibly, depending on the circumstances and time of the arrest, but an arrest record does not automatically prevent you from becoming a licensed foster parent.

Can I start the process if I’m about to move into a new residence?

It is preferable to start the process AFTER moving into the new residence, as much of the paperwork requires a physical address.

I am not a U.S. citizen. Can I become a foster parent?

Yes, as long as you can provide legal documentation of your residency in the U.S.

I do not have a driver’s license, can I still foster?
Yes, but you will need to provide a state-issued identification card.
I have another adult who resides in my home, can I still foster?
Yes, but the other adult household member must be fingerprinted, provide a physician’s statement report, and sign a criminal history declaration.  If the other adult will be assisting in the care of the child, he/she may also be required to attend some of the Pre-Service Training classes.
Do I need to have a job?

Not necessarily, but you will need to be able to provide verification that your net monthly income exceeds your monthly expenses.

I work full-time, can I foster parent?
Yes.  You must simply show that you have a work schedule that coincides with the children placed in your home.  A minimal amount of time in daycare is allowed for children 2 years of age and older.
Do I have to own a home?

No.  As a foster parent, you will need to have a stable residence (i.e. apartment, rental home, condominium, townhome, etc.) that will be able to pass a Safety and Sanitation inspection.

Do I need experience working with children?
No.  Many foster parents do not have any experience working with children.  The goal of PS MAPP Training is to alleviate any concerns and prepare you for the life of a foster parent.
I am licensed with another agency, can I transfer or how do I switch?

You will need to sign a Consent to Release Information.  HRT will then review your case file from the other agency and make a decision based on the information presented.

Requirements

What are the requirements to be a foster parent?
The applicant must be at least 21 years old and have sufficient income to meet household expenses.  The applicant must also be fingerprinted, pass a background check, complete a physician’s statement report, provide personal references and school references for your children (if applicable), complete Pre-Service Training, pass a State home inspection, participate in interviews so a comprehensive home study (social history) can be written by HRT and be able to provide a loving and nurturing environment for a child.
What training must I complete to become a licensed foster parent?
You must complete the 30 hour PS MAPP Training. The PS MAPP Program is designed to help you and your family decide if fostering and/or adoption is right for you. At each meeting throughout the ten-week program, participants receive valuable information, are given various opportunities to share and connect as a group, and are provided a safe and intimate environment in which mutual selection can healthfully occur.
What are the requirements for my home to pass the state inspection?
There are several standards that your residence must meet prior to obtaining a license that HRT will assist you in achieving.  A few examples include having smoke detectors in each bedroom, owning at least one fire extinguisher, locking all toxins and medications, and having a pool fence if you are interested in caring for children under the age of six or the developmentally disabled.
How many bedrooms do I need?
There is no set number of bedrooms that are required; however, there must be an appropriate number of bedrooms for the number of household members.
How long does it take to get a foster care license?
It is HRT’s goal to complete the licensing process at the same time the family finishes the Pre-Service Training.  Generally, the process takes at least four to six months. You will be required to complete the initial licensing paperwork while you are in the PS MAPP training. You will have a minimum of three home visits by a social worker during which you and your family will be interviewed. The quicker you submit your paperwork, the faster HRT can complete your license.
How long is a license good for?
After the initial license is received, the license must be renewed annually.  An HRT Foster Care Consultant assists you in completing this process.

DDD

What is DDD?
DDD stands for the Division of Developmental Disabilities.  They are responsible for the care of children and adults with developmental disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, mental retardation, epilepsy, and autism.
What is the difference between DDD and regular foster care?
The children that are placed in your home as a DDD provider will have developmental disabilities, including but not limited to, cerebral palsy, mental retardation, and/or autism.
Are there different training requirements to become a DDD foster parent?
Yes, a DDD foster parent must complete additional hours of Pre-Service Training specific to serving individuals with developmental disabilities.
Does my residence or vehicle need to have wheelchair ramps or other adaptive equipment (i.e. shower bars, wheelchair lockdowns in vehicle)?
No, not necessarily there are many individuals that do not require adaptive equipment.  However, you do need to be prepared to make the modifications if you want to serve someone who needs them.
What age ranges can I care for with DDD?
There is a wide age range of DDD clients that span from young children to adults.