In order to assure a safe and stable home for children in foster care, there are some basic qualifications that all families are required to meet:
- Foster parents may be legally married couples or single individuals aged 21 or older. Couples who are not legally married are unable to be licensed.
- Foster parents must be US citizens or permanent legal residents.
- Foster parents and all persons 18 and older in the home must pass background checks.
- Foster parents need to be financially stable and able to support their family without assistance from the state.
- Foster parents need to be healthy enough to care for children as determined by their own doctor.
- Foster parents will not be licensed to do both foster care and day care at the same time.
Foster parents can be homeowners or renters. There are physical aspects of your home that are important:
- Your home needs to be clean, in good repair, and free from health and fire hazards.
- There must be a telephone in your home. A mobile phone is acceptable if:
- it is recognizable to the 911 emergency network serving your home and
- it is in the home at all times children in foster care are present.
- Children of the same sex may share a room, but each must have their own bed.
- Bedrooms must have at least 40 square feet per child and should be comparable to other bedrooms in the home.
- Your home needs smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors on each floor and at least one approved fire extinguisher.
- You will need to have a first aid kit in your home.
- Medications must be locked up.
- You will also need to lock away any dangerous chemicals – including many cleaning supplies.
- Any firearms and ammunition in your home need to be locked up.
- If you have a pool or hot tub, it must be gated or have a locking cover.
These basic qualifications are enforced by the State Office of Licensing. If you have any questions about whether you or your home qualify, you’re welcome to contact us or you can call them directly at (801) 538-4242.