Home Study Requirements for Prospective Foster Parents

(From: https://www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/laws_policies/state/index.cfm?event=stateStatutes.processSearch)


 Home Study Requirements for Prospective Foster Parents

Who May Apply

Citation: Admin. Code §§ 424.255 through 424.265

Foster home parents shall:

·         Be competent adults with a demonstrated ability to exercise sound judgment and decision-making

·         Be willing to be a team member with the agency in establishing and carrying out agency goals for the child

·         Possess skills necessary to live amiably as a family group

·         Have the character and personality to give care to children

·         Accept and respect each child as an individual

·         Be kind and friendly

·         Have knowledge and understanding of child care and problems of children

·         Be flexible in their approaches to child care

·         Participate in and effectively apply training as required

·         Be prepared to serve as an appropriate role model for foster children and their parents

·         Present a positive image to the community

·         Maintain good community relationships


The integrity and conduct of foster home parents shall be above reproach, especially as regards to their role as foster caregivers.

An applicant to be a foster parent must be age 21 or older. The age of the foster parent should be considered only as it affects his or her physical energy, flexibility, or ability to care for a specific child, and in relation to the probable duration of the care of a particular child.

The foster family must have demonstrated sound money management practices and financial responsibility. Households receiving aid to dependent children or food stamps may apply to become foster parents but should contact their eligibility worker to determine how the foster care payment will affect their benefits under those programs.

Training Requirements

Citation: Admin. Code § 424.270

Applicants for a license to operate a foster home must attend at least 8 hours of training in foster parenting provided or approved by the agency that provides child welfare services. If the home has a pool, hot tub, another free-standing body of water, or a sauna, the applicants also must complete training in CPR and pool safety before licensure.

Foster parents must attend 4 hours annually of training in foster parenting that is provided or approved by the agency that provides child welfare services.

The annual training or portions of the annual training may for good cause, as determined by the agency that provides child welfare services, be obtained from another agency that places foster children, as a substitute for the training provided by the agency that provides child welfare services, if at least one foster parent participates in the training.

Minimum Standards for Foster Homes

Citation: Admin. Code §§ 424.350 through 424.425

A foster home should be reasonably accessible to educational and religious facilities, medical care, recreational facilities, special facilities for training and guidance of children to be served, fire services and visits from parents and agency staff. The grounds of a foster home must include outdoor space as a recreational area suitable for the size, number, and age of the children accepted for foster care.

The foster home must have at least 200 square feet of living space per occupant, including foster children. All rooms used as living or sleeping quarters, including kitchens and lavatories, must be clean, lighted, well-ventilated, and heated. Rooms must have furnishings comfortable and suitable for use by children as appropriate.

Rooms used by children for sleeping must have a minimum of 35 square feet per child and 3 feet of floor space between beds. Children of the opposite sex who are age 5 or older must not share a bedroom, and children over age 12 months must not sleep in the same room with an adult.

Each child must be provided with his or her own bed that must be at least 30 inches wide and of a length that is adequate for the child's height.

A family foster home must have:

At least one toilet and one tub or shower and at least one washbasin with hot and cold running water

Portable fire extinguishers on each story of the structure

Smoke detectors in every room where foster children sleep

A telephone, where available

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