Are you an adult living in Minnesota with a desire to support children and families in your community? Becoming a Foster Parent might be the perfect fit for you. Great foster parents are able to provide safe, stable, supportive environments to children and teens during the time period they are experiencing out-of-home care.
According to the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS), 12,400 children and young adults experienced out-of-home care in 2021. Because of this alarming number of youth in care, there is an urgent need for foster families in the state of Minnesota. CH/LSS provides education and ongoing support to families throughout their foster care experience. The majority of expenses related to becoming a foster care provider are covered by state and/or county contracts. By working with CH/LSS, you could provide care for children located throughout the state of Minnesota. Below we have compiled some of the most frequently asked questions about foster care to help you decide if taking the next step is right for you.
Foster Care FAQs
What is Foster Care?
Foster care is a temporary arrangement for children whose parents are struggling and are unable to take care of them. There are a variety of reasons that children’s family situations come to the attention of a child welfare agency. When possible, child welfare agencies will work with families to keep kids safe and meet their needs at home; unfortunately, sometimes that is not possible and it is necessary for kids to be placed in foster care. The most common reasons that children need out-of-home placement are due to parental drug abuse, allegations of neglect, and/or allegations of physical abuse. (MN DHS)
Do I have to have parenting experience?
No, you can be a foster parent with minimal to no parenting experience. You can also be a foster parent if you are currently parenting children or have children living independently.
What is the role of a foster parent?
Foster parents provide a temporary safe, stable home for children who have experienced abuse and neglect and whose parents need time to learn new skills to become the parents their children need them to be. Foster parents care for and meet the physical, emotional, and social needs of children in foster care.
Why would I become licensed through a private agency instead my county of residence?
We can provide personalized support to your family throughout the process and offer a variety of services when you have placement. Our Family Support Coach offers attachment-focused, parenting coaching and support groups for you to consider. Additionally, by becoming licensed through CH/LSS you could take placement of children that live throughout the state whereas when you are licensed with your county, you typically only take placement of children that also reside in that county as well.
Do I need to be a homeowner?
No. Many foster families are renters! However, it is important to remember that whatever living space you have, there are foster care licensing requirements that will need to be met. In some circumstances, your family may need a fire marshal inspection completed. To learn more, visit https://www.revisor.mn.gov/rules/2960/
What type of information will I learn about a child before taking placement?
The amount and type of information received before placement varies depending on the type of placement and how long the youth or sibling group have been in care. Information that may be received includes:
- The child’s name
- Date of birth
- Previous placement summary
- Race or cultural heritage of the child, including tribal affiliation, if any
- Description of the circumstances leading to placement, medical problems, mental health concerns, and/or safety concerns
- Description of strengths of the child
- Spiritual or religious affiliation of the child and the child’s family
- Information about the child’s medication and diet needs
Do I need to be a stay-at-home parent?
No. Being a foster parent does require a level of flexibility, but it is not a requirement to have a provider stay at home with children.
What are the eligibility requirements?
The minimum age requirement is 21. Our foster care program is open to individuals and families regardless of marital status, sexuality, gender identity, gender expression, religion, or race. We are dedicated to serving ALL families.
OK, I’m ready! What should I do to get started?
Register for an upcoming two-hour Foster Care & Adoption Orientation (introductory level) followed by our more in-depth Foster Care & Adoption Education Class series, or find out if you meet our eligibility requirements by filling out our Application Part 1.
Do you have additional questions about our foster care program?
We are happy to schedule a personal consult with you. Call 651.646.7771 or email us at [email protected]