AdoptUSKids For Families

Getting Approved to Foster


After you have finished applying to foster and fulfilled any state-specific requirements for being approved to adopt, you will have a waiting period. During this time, your caseworker will be finishing background checks and verifying the various pieces of information you have provided.

Typically, the above steps conclude with a written report reflecting your caseworker's findings. These findings will determine whether you’re eligible to foster, and include the age range and number of children recommended for your family. This decision may take some time because it’s done on a case-by-case basis unless there is a criminal record or overriding safety concern that will immediately preclude an agency from approving your application.


What You Need to Do

Ready to take the next step?

Once your application is approved and you have been licensed to foster, the wait begins for recieving a foster placement.

If you’re not approved or able to foster at this point in the process, consider other ways to help children in foster care.


Stay in Contact With Your Caseworker


While your caseworker finishes background checks and verifying other information in your application to foster, it’s good to keep in contact with them so you can readily provide answers to follow-up questions.

If you have concerns about something specific that might disqualify you from fostering, now is the time to talk with your caseworker about it. Some agencies may be able to work with your family, depending on the specifics of the incident and its resolution. It’s best to be honest and upfront about anything that could be a cause for concern. Aside from a criminal record or overriding safety concerns that would preclude agencies from approving you to foster, the decision to qualify your family is made on a case-by-case basis. If your caseworker finds you to be deceptive or dishonest, or if documents collected during the home study process expose inconsistencies, the agency may not approve your application.

For more information about disqualifying crimes, see Child Welfare Information Gateway’s summary of state laws on criminal background checks for prospective foster and adoptive parents.


Network While You Wait


While waiting to become approved to foster, you may have a hard time understanding why it takes so long to complete the paperwork, or are concerned about what will be put on the record about you and your household.

Now is a good time to find your local foster care and adoption support group or network through AdoptUSKids’ online community with other foster and adoptive parents. These are great sources of support and encouragement, and can help you pass the time while you wait.


Find Other Way to Help
Children in Foster Care


If you’re not ready or able to be approved to foster at this time, please consider other ways to help children in foster care. You have valuable abilities that can be put to work for children, such as being a community volunteer, respite worker, office assistant, tutor or mentor to teens, babysitter, or assistant recruiter. Discuss these options and others with your caseworker.


Ready to take the next step?

Once you have been approved foster, the wait begins for receiving a foster placement.

If you’re not approved or able to foster at this point in the process, consider other ways to help children in foster care.

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