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You’ll find more details about being a Foster Parent and what requirements you’ll have for both you as a parent, and your home.

Requirements for Parents

Foster parents shall:

  • be in good health and emotionally stable;
  • be able to provide for the physical, social, mental health, and emotional needs of the foster child;
  • be responsible persons who are 21 years of age or older;
  • provide documentation of legal residential status;
  • have the ability to help the foster child thrive;
  • not be dependent on foster care reimbursement for their own expenses  
  • provide updated medical, social, financial, or other family information when requested  
  • follow all federal, state and local laws and ordinances
  • cooperate with the Office of Licensing, Agency, courts, and law enforcement officials.
  • read, acknowledge, and comply with the Office of Licensing Provider Code of Conduct.
  • A foster parent shall not abuse, neglect, or maltreat a child through any act or omission.

Requirements for Housing

Physical Aspects of the home:

  • All indoor and outdoor areas of the home shall be maintained to ensure a safe physical environment.
  • The home shall be free from health and fire hazards.
  • The home shall have a working smoke detector and a working carbon monoxide detector on each separate level.
  • The home shall have at least one approved, fully charged fire extinguisher readily accessible to the main living area.  An approved fire extinguisher shall be a minimum of 2A:10BC five-point, rated multi-purpose, dry chemical fire extinguisher.
  • Each bathroom shall have a lock sufficient to preserve the privacy of the occupant.

The home shall have sufficient bedroom space.

  • a bedroom shall not be shared by children of the opposite sex unless each child sharing the room is under two years of age;
  • a foster child shall not share a bedroom with other adults in the home;
  • each child in foster care must have an individual bed/crib, mattress, and linens that meet the child’s needs and are comparable to other similarly utilized sleeping accommodations in the household;
  • a minimum of 40  square feet per child, excluding adjoining bathrooms and storage space;
  • bedrooms used for foster children shall be comparable to other similarly utilized bedrooms in the home, including but not limited to access, location, space, finishings, and furnishings; and
  • bedrooms used by foster children shall have a source of natural light and shall be equipped with a screened window that opens and provides egress to the outdoors.
  • Closet or dresser space shall be provided within the bedroom for the foster child’s personal possessions and for a reasonable degree of privacy.

The home shall have space or access to common areas for recreational activities.

Foster parents shall offer nutritious, balanced meals that meet each foster child’s individual needs.

The home shall have a working refrigerator, cooking appliances, and functional indoor plumbing.

Hazards on the property shall be abated.  These areas include but are not limited to fall hazards of 3 feet or greater (steep grades, cliffs, open pits, window wells, stairwells, elevated porches, retaining walls, etc), drowning hazards (swimming pools, hot tubs, water features, ponds or streams, etc), burn hazards (fireplaces, candles, radiators, water, etc), unstable heavy items (televisions, bookshelves, etc), high voltage boosters, or dangerous traffic conditions.  These hazards shall be mitigated through the use of protective hardware, fences, banisters, railings, grates, natural barriers, or other licensor approved methods.

The home and its contents shall be maintained in a clean and safe condition.  Food, clothing, supplies, furniture, and equipment shall be of sufficient quantity, variety, and quality to meet the foster child(ren)’s needs.

Exits:  There shall be at least two exits on each accessible floor of the home.  Each exit shall be accessible and adequately sized for emergency personnel.  Multiple-level homes shall have a functional, automatic fire suppression system or an escape ladder, stairway, or another exterior egress to a ground-level accessible from each of the upper levels.

Foster parents shall have and use child safety devices appropriate to the needs of the foster child, including but not limited to safety gates and electrical outlet covers.

The home address is clearly visible and the location is accessible.

Water and sewage disposal systems other than public systems must be approved by the appropriate authorities.

Swimming pools will be secured in order to prevent unsupervised access and comply with applicable community ordinances.

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