License Minnesota

Child Foster Care License

Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS)

Agency contact information:

Human Services (DHS), Minnesota Department of
P.O. Box 64242
St. Paul, MN 55164-0242
(651) 431-2000 | For TTY/TDD communication, use Minnesota Relay Service at 711 or (800) 627-3529
The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) has delegated licensing of child foster homes to county and private agencies. For license information, contact your County Social Services Department or Human Services Department.
Contact Info: General questions email contact


Minnesota Department of Human Services

Foster Care


DHS Licensing Information Lookup

DHS Web Payments

Online Services

County and regional offices and county human services agencies

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) offers programs for health care, child support, food support, general assistance, nursing home care, seniors, people who are deaf, people who have developmental disabilities, foster care, child protection and adult and children's mental health services.


Minn. Stats. 245A


MINNNESOTA RULES 2960.3000 - 2960.3340


More licensing information and application forms are available on the MN Dept. of Human Services (DHS) website, at the Foster care section.


The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) has delegated the licensing of child foster homes to the counties and private agencies. For license information, contact your County Social Services Department, County Human Services Department or a licensed child placing agency.

The rule governing child foster care addresses requirements for foster family settings, where the license holder lives in the foster home, and foster residence settings, where the license holder does not live in the home. The rule establishes minimum standards that a child foster care license holder must meet including the licensing process, capacity limits, foster home physical environment, foster home safety, license holder qualifications, foster parent training, placement/continued stay/discharge of foster children, respite and substitute care for foster family settings, and requirements for what records must be provided to the licensing agency. Additional requirements for foster residence settings include staff training requirements, staffing pattern and personnel policy requirements, communication and documentation requirements, and admission/treatment/discharge requirements. The rule also includes additional requirements for license holders providing treatment foster care, including additional experience and training, as well as limits on capacity.

Counties and private agencies may require that the applicant complete forms that provide necessary licensing information. The forms which may be used by the counties or private agencies include, but are not limited to:

Individual factsheet

Child foster care application form. 

Request for fire inspection.
Family Disaster Plan.

Floor plan and escape plan.

Home safety checklist.


A county agency may charge a fee to a corporate applicant or corporate license holder to recover the actual cost of licensing inspections, not to exceed $500 annually.

Counties may elect to reduce or waive the fees:
1) in cases of financial hardship;
2) if the county has a shortage of providers in the county's area; or
3) for new providers.

Period of Issuance:

A child foster care license may be issued for up to two years following the first year of licensure.

Length of Determination Process:

Minn. Stat. § 245A.04, subd. 1 requires that the Commissioner shall act on the application within 90 working days after a complete application and any required reports have been received from other state agencies or departments, counties, municipalities, or other political subdivisions.

Other Pertinent Information:

The licensing of child foster care homes is delegated to counties or private agencies. Counties and private agencies generally develop their own information pamphlets for prospective applicants.