There are some general misconceptions surrounding who can foster parent a child. Almost anyone who has a desire and the capacity to help care for a child can become a foster parent. The requirements are not as strict as you might imagine, but there are rules and policies foster parents must follow in order to become and stay licensed as a foster parent.
In general, things like proof of income, safe housing and reliable transportation are taken into consideration. All foster parents must take foster parent training classes and pass a home study to become licensed. Laws can vary from state to state, so verify with your local agency that you meet the eligibility requirements. People from all walks of life and backgrounds are amazing foster parents to children in need. Read some of their stories here!
Most states will license single foster parents. Single parents complete the same process as a couple who wants to foster or adopt a child. If you have a passion for children, a support network through your family and/or community and the flexibility within your working environment, you’re a great candidate to foster parent a child.
The landscape of parenting options for LGBTQ individuals and couples has grown considerably in recent years, with an increasing number of LGBTQ parents choosing to build their families through fostering or adoption. Still, there are challenges LGBTQ foster and adoptive parents continue to face. It’s important to find a welcoming agency whose practices are genuinely affirming and whose policies fit your family’s needs to ensure you have a positive experience.
Did you know that more than 4 million parents with children under the age of 18 have some sort of disability? Having a disability does not automatically disqualify an individual from fostering or adopting a child. It’s important, however, that disabled foster parents know how to advocate for themselves and be able to access the resources and information needed to care for a child despite their unique circumstances.
There is no upper age limit to becoming a foster parent. Couples and singles in their 50s, 60s and beyond that are well and able to care for a child are embracing foster parenthood. Bringing a wealth of life experiences, these adults are often well-equipped to guide children and teens to adulthood.
National Foster Care Month
May is National Foster Care Month. We can all play a part in enhancing the lives of children and youth in foster care. Do you long to be the difference in a child’s life? Take our 30-second assessment to see if you’re ready to become a foster parent.