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Becoming a Foster Parent: The Steps Involved

foster parent

So you have finally decided to adopt a child and become a foster parent. However, how do you go about becoming one? What are the necessary steps and procedures you would need to follow to bring home your bundle of joy? The steps mentioned below would help you understand what needs to become a foster parent.

The Application Process

Get in touch with a local foster care agency in your area to find out what you would need to do in order to adopt a child. If possible, attend an orientation program to understand these procedures better.

Adoption laws vary from state to state. Therefore, you would most probably be required to attend pre-service parent training classes before starting the application process. These training classes would help you understand the challenges that come with foster parenting, and would be held for about 10 weeks.

After the training classes end, you can fill out the necessary paperwork. You may need to provide specific details like income verification, criminal record screening, reference letters and age verification, etc.

Meeting the Case Worker for a Home Study

You would meet with a caseworker after the pre-service screening and training classes. Be honest and open with the caseworker when talking about why you want to adopt a child and what you plan to do for his/her future. You would be asked to be responsive to timely interviews, home inspections and criminal background checks initiated by the caseworker. You would also need to pledge confidentiality about the child you are about to adopt, including details about his/her biological family.

The caseworker would work along with you to get details about your family history, personal relationships, previous parenting experiences, education qualifications, current employment status, the neighborhood you live in and your readiness to become a foster parent. He/she would compile this information into a document called the home study.

It may take up to a year or so for the foster agency to get back to you with a foster placement after the initial meeting. During this period, you may get numerous visits from your caseworker. You can also use this time to learn more about foster parenting. Do some research on the issues foster children usually face in new homes, especially if they had been physically and mentally abused in their own home. Talk to other foster parents to get an idea of what you would need to expect with a new kid in the house.

Preparing your Home

Once your application is accepted, you would need to start prepping up your home for the arrival of the new member. The local agency would require you to set up several safety features like fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, etc. in your home. Get these done promptly to avoid further delays. Finally, get some clothes, toys and other essentials your child would need for the first two days he/she is in your home.


Becoming a foster parent would require you to follow these steps. However, more importantly, if would require you to be completely honest with everyone involved in the process so that you do not face any delays in bringing your prince/princess back home.

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