Steps to Becoming a Foster Parent

If you are becoming a foster parent, you’re making an amazing decision that will improve your life and the life of the child you foster. There are so many children needing supportive foster families out there. However, the process of fostering does require some up-front work. Fostering agencies have to make sure that the parents they place children with are able to give them proper care. This requires training on the part of the foster parents. In some states, a license is actually required. Next, you’ll have an in-home visit where the agency makes sure that you’re prepared for a child. And finally, you’ll have to pass a background check. After you’ve completed all of these steps, you’ll be ready to take in a foster child and begin a relationship that will change your life.

Steps to Becoming a Foster Parent: Getting Prepared


The first step to becoming a foster parent is taking a training course. This will probably cover an overview of the child welfare system and how the process of fostering works. It will help families decide whether or not this is a course that is right for them. It will also provide you with some understanding of what types of behaviors you might experience from foster children as a result of them being in the welfare system. Many children have been through the trauma of one sort or another, and the training program can help you be better prepared to help them.


In some states becoming a foster parent requires a specific license. For example, in North Carolina, parents must complete a 30-hour course and then apply for a fostering license. Fostering and adopting are two very different things, although sometimes people get them mixed up. In states where you have to get a license, you often need a separate license if you are applying to adopt a child.

In Home Visit

After you’ve completed your training, the next step to becoming a foster parent is the in-home visit. This is when somebody from a foster agency comes to your house to check out how you live. They’ll ask you tons of questions about your lifestyle. They’ll also make sure that you have the essentials for bringing home a child. If you’re fostering a baby, you’ll need to show that you have a crib and have babyproofed. They aren’t trying to find fault with your home, but instead just getting a feel for how you live your life.

Background Check

Finally, the last piece of the puzzle to becoming a foster parent is passing a background check. Foster agencies must make sure that the children they place with foster parents are in a safe environment. Once you choose a foster agency you’d like to work with, they’ll likely order the background check. All in all, a background check keeps the children safer.

Becoming a foster parent is an amazing life-changing decision to make. It’s one that will probably be very difficult but even more rewarding. However, there is prep work to do upfront. You’ll decide which agency you’d like to work with and then begin training. Next, if you live in a state where it’s necessary, you’ll need to apply for a license. You’ll have an agent come to your house for a home visit after that. And finally, you’ll need to pass a background check. Once you’ve completed all these steps, you’ll be ready to take in a foster child and start providing some much needed support to a child in need.