To become a foster parent, you don’t need a fancy house, a spouse or partner or extensive parenting experience. You do need dedication, flexibility and patience. Most of all, you need a strong desire to provide a stable, loving and supportive home for a child in foster care.

Casey Family Programs has been working to improve foster care since 1966. We have a rich history of helping foster families — which we call resource families — succeed as caregivers.

Casey Family Programs is actively recruiting foster parents in:

Please contact the office in your community if you would like to apply to become a foster parent with Casey Family Programs. If you live in a community not listed, please contact the National Foster Parent Association for more information about becoming a foster parent.

All types of people can be successful foster parents – married couples, domestic partners, same-sex couples and single people – as long as they can provide a child stability, love and support. Children in foster care need loving and dedicated adults to welcome them into their homes and nurture them as they grow into healthy, happy and self-sufficient adults.

Becoming a foster parent with Casey Family Programs involves several steps requiring varying amounts of time, paperwork, and face-to-face meetings. Each step builds on the previous steps.

The process helps you decide whether foster parenting is indeed something you want to commit to. It also gives us a chance to get to know you better so that an appropriate match is made between foster family and youth.

Once you contact us to explore the possibility of becoming a foster parent, you can expect to follow these steps over the course of about six months:

Step 1: Initiate contact

When you first contact our office, a staff member will answer your questions about being a foster parent. If you’re interested in taking the next step, we will ask you some basic questions about you and your family, and will mail you a packet of information and forms for you to fill out and return to us.

Step 2: Orientation

You will be invited to an orientation, where you will meet with other interested families and learn more about what it will mean for you to be a foster parent. In some cases, a staff person will come to your home and meet with you individually to answer your questions and provide information.

Step 3: Pre-service training

Every prospective foster parent is required to attend about 30 hours of pre-service training sessions. These sessions are designed to help you make a final decision about becoming a foster parent. In the sessions, we discuss what foster parenting is all about-what it takes, what to expect, the obligations, challenges, and rewards.

Step 4: Home study

During this step, one of our social workers specializing in family development will visit your home to interview you and any other family members and residents in your home. Typically, interviews are conducted during the course of at least two to four visits to your home. The interviews are an opportunity for us to:

  • Gather background information about you and your family.
  • Understand your motivations to become a foster parent.
  • Ensure that foster parenting is a fit for you.
  • Ensure that you will be able to provide a safe and nurturing home environment.
  • Make sure your home has enough space to accommodate additional youth.
  • Complete criminal background checks on everyone living in your home.
  • Interview references provided by you.

Step 5: Group interview

Three to four Casey Family Programs’ staff members, including social workers, will come to your home to conduct a group interview with you and members of your household. Then, based on what we learn together, we will be better able to jointly decide whether foster parenting with Casey is a good fit for you and your family at this time. You will meet the social worker who will be working with you if you become a foster parent.

Step 6: Licensing or certification

Depending on the state, Casey and/or the state reviews your application and determines whether or not to certify or license you as a foster parent.

Step 7: Child placement

Once you have the appropriate certification or license, Casey Family Programs can match you with a young person. You are now ready to provide a youth in foster care with a safe and loving home.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What kind of foster parents is Casey looking for?

A: Casey looks for all types of families who can provide a supportive and stable home environment: single parents, married couples, families of color, empty nesters, homeowners, renters, and gay, lesbian and bi-sexual parents. A disproportionate number of children of color enter the child welfare system. Casey is committed to diversity and anti-racism, and we provide culturally appropriate services.

We also look for families who, when appropriate, can step up to offer a permanent home for a youth through adoption or by becoming their legal guardian.

Q: How much contact do children have with their birth families?

A: Casey seeks to maintain and, in some cases, to build a positive relationship with birth families. This often brings children and youth a sense of culture, history and self. Our top priority is to ensure that this contact is safe, and we offer support and supervision when necessary.

Q: What do I do to become a foster parent?

A: Casey takes families through a process that meets both Casey Family Programs and state requirements to become a foster parent. Requirements vary by state. The process includes a licensing or certification process, depending on the state. In general, this involves getting background checks for all the adults in a household, filling out an application and other paperwork, attending a training, having a home check, and completing an assessment process. We also meet with you so you can learn more about fostering and so we can learn more about you and your family. This helps us determine the best fit for both child and family.

Q: What kinds of supports and services do I get as a Casey parent?

A: Casey Family Programs offers a wide variety of services and supports to families and youth tailored to meet specific needs including: social work support, 24-hour staff availability, financial reimbursement, training in child development and other related topics, respite (another family takes the child temporarily to give you a break), and life skills services for young adults up to age 25.

Learn more about the process of becoming a foster parent »