How to be a Foster Parent

Dr. John DeGarmo
9 min readSep 8, 2022

Making the decision to being a foster parent is an exciting one. It is a decision that is rewarding in so many ways. It is also one that takes incredible commitment, unconditional love, and patience. After you determined that you are ready to begin, there are long hours of training ahead of you before your first foster child is placed in your home, and becomes part of your family. These hours of training will go a long way in helping you prepare for the many challenges that await you as a foster parent.

As each state has its own set of laws and policies in regard to foster parent training, your situation will likely be different than somebody in a neighboring state. The first step is to locate your city’s child welfare agency, and contact them. Perhaps you already know someone who is a foster parent, and they can help you find the correct contact information. If so, you are one step ahead. If not, the phone book or internet is a great way to find what you are looking for. As each state is different, you will find that there are a number of different names for child welfare agencies.

Before contacting the agency nearest to you, it is important to determine if you qualify as a possible foster parent, as there are requirements to be met before you become certified. These include the following:

Age: Foster Parents need to be at least 21 years of age in order to begin taking foster children into their homes.

Character: Character references are necessary in many occupations, including fostering children. You must have three signed statements from individuals stating that you have strong moral character, are able to develop meaningful relationships with children, can effectively manage financially, and have sound judgment.

Financial: Though you will be reimbursed for having a foster child placed in your home, the daily reimbursement fee is small, and differs from state to state. Before a foster child is placed in your home, you may be asked to show that you are financially stable enough to support another child.

Health: Having a foster child in your house can be draining, emotionally, mentally, and physically. In order to have a child placed in your home, each member of your family must be in mental and physical health. This includes no drug or alcohol abuse…

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Dr. John DeGarmo

Leading foster care expert and international empowerment speaker