While the requirements for licensed kinship and specific caregivers are essentially the same as for traditional foster/adoptive families, the process is a little different.
To become a licensed kinship or specific foster parent, the child’s caseworker must initiate the licensing process for you. This is often misunderstood, and the caseworker may even tell you to contact us to be licensed. But the process must be initiated by the caseworker.
Often, the Utah Division of Child & Family Services (DCFS) caseworker will call for a “child and family team meeting” when a child enters foster care. During that meeting they may discuss family members that are available and appropriate to care for the child. If there is more than one family member that qualifies, they will ask for input from the family and try to identify who should get licensed to become the foster parent. If DCFS decides to place the child with you, the child’s caseworker will initiate the licensing process. Typically, DCFS will not do a homestudy for more than one family interested in caring for the same child.
If the child is from Utah, then the Utah Office of Licensing (OL) may be able to issue a probationary license. Once a family has met the basic safety and background check requirements and received a probationary license, the child may be placed with the family — even while they complete any remaining requirements, (including the required training classes).
Probationary licenses are good for up to 120 days. If you have not finished all of the requirements for your license by that time, the child may have to be removed from your home.