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Colorado Department of Human Services
Prospective Foster Families


Qualifications

You could make a wonderful foster parent to a waiting child if you...

*Are at least 21 years old
*Are single, married, divorced or widowed
*Own or rent your home
*Have adequate financial resources to maintain the home.
*Can provide for the child’s physical, mental, and character development

If you meet these basic qualifications then you're off to a great start!

The Process
People just like you provide foster care to children every day. If you work with Colorado 's public child welfare system, you'll find that becoming a foster parent is a straightforward process.

Contact the Foster Care Coordinator in your county department of human or social services or a private child placement agency to inquire about their family foster care program by clicking here. Staff will help you learn more and guide you through the process. Please review the steps below.

Step 1: Attend the foster care program orientation.
Step 2: Complete and submit an application.
Step 3: Attend foster parent training classes sponsored by the county departments, private child placement agency, or the State of Colorado.
Step 4: Participate in a comprehensive foster family assessment.

Once you successfully complete these steps, you may be certified to foster a child.

Step 1: Orientation
You will attend an orientation about fostering at the county department or private child placement agency where you choose to pursue the family foster care certification process along with other prospective foster parents where you'll learn:

  • What foster care means and what your role and responsibilities as a parent will be.
  • About the children who are placed in out-of-home care, their backgrounds and their ages.
  • What the certification process involves, such as the application form, the required training classes and the foster family assessment.
  • How the child’s caseworker and the foster care resource caseworkers will work with and support you and your family.
  • The legal procedures and the assistance and resources available to foster parents.
  • About permanency, concurrent planning, and situations where children may be placed in the foster home for foster care and later becomes legally free for adoption.

Step 2: The Application
The Colorado Department of Human Services Application To Care For Children doesn't take long to complete, and is free. The county department or private child placement agency where you choose to pursue the family foster care certification will provide you with an application.

Every applicant will have a Colorado and national background check for prior criminal and child abuse records.

Step 3: Training Classes
Foster parents are required to attend training classes as part of the certification process. The classes are taught by experienced child welfare professionals. In addition to helping to prepare you. and your family, the training covers issues including, legal processes and issues, child growth and development, discipline, parenting and family dynamics, the importance of the team approach, working with the birth family, individual differences, as well as the challenges and the rewards of fostering.

Step 4: Family Assessment
A foster family assessment – also called a "home study" – is the process that helps us find appropriate families for the children who are temporarily in out-of-home care. Information is gathered through individual and joint interviews with a caseworker or another professional who will visit your home.

Here are some of the areas covered in the family assessment:

  • Social history, background, personal characteristics, and values
  • Problem solving and communication skills
  • Parenting skills and family preparation
  • Children and other people living in the home
  • Family relationships and family support network
  • Physical and social environment

Once your foster family assessment is approved, you may be eligible to have a child placed in your home for foster care.