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Foster Parent Requirements

Rules regarding qualifications will vary based on a number of factors, including state law. But generally speaking, people who want to become foster parents must usually:

  • Be over 21,
  • Have a regular source of income,
  • Have no record of felony convictions,
  • Submit to a home assessment of all family members, and
  • Agree to attend parent training sessions.

Foster parents can usually work outside the home. However, if the foster child requires day care, the foster parent is typically responsible for that expense. Foster parents usually need not make a set minimum income, nor even own a large home. Foster children can usually share a bedroom with another child of the same sex. Both single persons and married couples are generally accepted as foster parents, however, some states do not certify homes in which unmarried adults are living together unless they are relatives.

The length of time a child may remain in foster care varies. The Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 requires states to seek a permanent placement for the child as quickly as possible, be it reunification with the birth parents, kinship care, or adoption.

Next Steps
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(e.g., Chicago, IL or 60611)

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