Your county or tribal social service agency (PDF) is your first point of contact. The agency will ask for personal information such as your name, address, phone number and your motivation for becoming a foster parent. They will also discuss agency needs for foster parents.
Some county agencies offer information meetings to share ideas about a foster parent's role, the agency's need for foster parents and general information about children in need of foster care. The application and other paperwork are usually provided for interested families.
If these meetings are not available in your area, it may be possible to connect to a current foster parent.
Minnesota offers one application for child foster care licensing and adoption. In order to be a licensed foster care provider, you need to complete and submit the application for child placement and individual fact sheet. These forms are available from the county service agency or private agency or download them now.
A background study is required for everyone in the home 13 years of age and older. The agency placing the child will provide applicants with fingerprint cards and instructions about how to initiate a study in your community. Foster care background studies are completed by the Minnesota Department of Human Services.
The county or private agency will assign a social worker to visit you and your family to interview you and complete a home study assessment.
The home study process involves several interviews with you and your family members. The social worker will use information gathered during interviews and collateral contacts to write an assessment. The social worker has the responsibility to assess a potential parent's ability to provide a healthy environment for a child. County and private agencies are required to use the Human Services commissioner's format for the assessment. The format is available for your review: Minnesota Adoption and Foster Care Home Study Assessment (PDF)
When you have successfully completed the process, the agency will notify the state and a license will be issued. This license is good for either one or two years. Prior to the expiration date, the assessment will need to be updated to renew the license.
The Minnesota Child Welfare Training System offers trainings for foster, adoptive, and kinship parents around the state. These trainings give potential and current foster parents the tools to have a successful foster care experience. Some metro counties offer regular informational meetings for individuals interested in becoming foster parents. If these meeting are not available in your area, it may be possible to connect with a current foster parent.