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What are the requirements to be a foster parent?

Answers to commonly asked licensing questions

Nicole Zwiers

Foster dad teaches teenage girl to drive a car

Being a caregiver or foster parent is a form of selfless love that gives children and their families the stability and support they need on their journey toward reunification.

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’re ready, Bethany can help you be the answer for a child in need.

In the meantime, here are a few requirements to be a foster parent.

Are there age requirements for foster parenting?

In general, you must be at least 21 years of age, although in some states the minimum age is 18.

There isn’t really an age cap, but assessments of health and financial stability are part of the home study process. We have seasoned parents in their 60s and 70s—such as Helen—who make great foster parents.

Can you be a foster parent in an apartment?

Foster parents can own or rent their home. You just need to have sufficient space in your home for children.

Size isn’t a major factor, but most state licensing rules are specific about size and privacy, meaning children should not share a room with an adult or another child of a different sex.

Can single people foster?

Single parents can be incredibly strong foster parents. For example, Tracey relies on support from her church family and community.

However, every couple, married or not, needs to be jointly on board for foster parenting. That includes other adults—such as a grandparent or young adult still at home—living in the house.

Can foster parents work outside the home?

Yes, foster parents can work either full or part time and still be fantastic foster parents.

The main concerns with work schedules would be the same as with any child in the home, including your ability to ensure the child you’re caring for can get to the places they need to be on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.

Are there any other requirements to be a foster parent?

Beyond the logistical rules of foster care, there are qualities and expectations for foster parents that are comparable to those required of any parent.

We expect foster parents to:

  • Love the child in their care
  • Act in the child’s best interests
  • Be a supportive partner to the child’s parents
  • Go with the flow and have a sense of humor
  • Ask for help when needed and be open to new parenting styles
  • Celebrate small victories

If this sounds like you—whether you’re a single dad, a seasoned grandmother, or a young couple—please contact us. Or keep exploring how to become a foster parent, learning the licensing process, and more.

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