Show fierce love: Become a foster parent

When you become a foster parent, you give a child and their family the stability and support they need as parents work toward reunification. 

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an african american teenage boy hugs his toddler sister in their foster parents' home

What is foster care?

When a child is removed from their home, their world feels out of control. They need to know they’re safe during this vulnerable time. When you become a foster parent, you give a child a loving home and the stability they need until they can be reunified with their family.

At Bethany, we believe foster care is fierce love — the type of selfless love that can empathize with a child’s hurt and boldly step up to be that child’s advocate.

When you’re ready, Bethany can help you be the answer for a child in need. You provide a loving home, and we'll provide the support you need.

Common questions about foster care

How many kids are in foster care in the U.S.?

Over 400,000 children are in the U.S. foster care system. The average age of a foster child is 8.

There is an urgent need for foster homes for older children (ages 11-17) and sibling groups.

How much does it cost to be a foster parent? 

Foster parents receive a monthly, tax-free stipend. While the amount varies by state, most foster parents report it covers necessary expenses like food, clothing, and school supplies.

You will still discover additional out-of-pocket costs, which is why we recommend foster parents seek community resources and family support.

What are the qualifications to be a foster parent?

You must be 21+ years of age and have sufficient space in your home for foster children. You can be married or single, and you can own or rent your home, apartment, condo, etc.

The exact requirements vary by state. Staff at your local Bethany office will explain your state’s licensing requirements.

What qualities do you need to be a good foster parent?

You might assume a certain type of person makes an “ideal” foster parent — but that’s not true. We’ve worked with single dads, seasoned grandmothers, first-time parents, and parents who both work full time. People from all walks of life can be foster parents.

Those who do it well share certain qualities, like these:

  • They go with the flow

  • They have a sense of humor

  • They ask for help

  • They’re open to new parenting techniques

  • They celebrate small victories

  • They have a fierce love for kids

Is there a Bethany foster care program in my area?

Enter your zip code on our Find a Location page to locate the program nearest you.

What is the process for becoming a foster parent through Bethany? 

The process to become a foster parent looks different in each state, based on their licensing requirements and regulations. Generally speaking, these are the steps to become a foster parent through Bethany:

  1. Attend a free informational meeting hosted by your local Bethany branch

  2. Complete the certification process, which includes a thorough background screening and specialized foster care training from Bethany staff

  3. Receive your first foster placement and welcome a child or children into your home

Video series: An introduction to foster care

This five-part series is designed to answer five commonly asked questions about foster care: 

•  What is foster care?  •  Who are the kids in foster care?  •  Who are foster parents?  •  What will foster parenting be like?  •  What are the steps to becoming a foster parent? 

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If you're feeling scared or anxious about becoming a foster parent, you're completely normal. Discover answers to your big questions about foster care.


Attend a meeting

Information is power. When you attend a foster care meeting in your area, you'll dive in deep, ask questions, and discover if foster care is right for you.

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When you’re ready to take the next step in your journey, we'll connect you with a licensing specialist.

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