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How to Get Licensed for Foster Care  

Becoming a foster parent is an extremely important and rewarding job. Most states require that in order to become a foster parent, you must be licensed by the state. Although licensing requirements will vary from state to state, there are general requirements which most individuals must fulfill prior to becoming licensed foster parents.

Application and Training

The first steps to becoming a licensed foster parent include filling out a licensing application and completing a certain number of hours of training with relation to foster care. There are a lot of forms but they are not difficult to complete. In regards to training, each state will designate the number of hours required for training completion. Most states require about 30 hours of training.

Home Review and Health Examinations

The next things which must be completed are the review of the home and health examinations for the family members currently residing in the home. The home review will be focused around making sure that the home is safe for foster children. This often includes checking fire safety, environmental safety and general safety issues. The family members must all get a physical examination as well as show that their immunizations are up to date.

Criminal Background Checks

The social service agency which is responsible for the placement of foster children within the homes wants to make sure that all adult members living in the home pass criminal background checks. The adults will be fingerprinted and their identities run through many different criminal databases, including the FBI database.

Additional Requirements for Foster Parents

There are also some other general requirements which foster parents must meet in many states in order to be licensed. If married, they must have been so for more than one year but single individuals can still be foster parents. They must also be between the ages of 21 and 65 in most states. Foster parents must have telephone access, transportation and enough room in the home to give each foster child their own bedroom area. Lastly, foster parents must make enough money on their own to support their family without having to rely on foster care payments to do so.

Getting Started

The best way to get the process started is to contact the social services agency in your area. The social services agency can provide the individual with the necessary information and specific instructions with regard to becoming a foster parent.

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