Minimum Standards for Foster Parenting

Find out if you meet all of the official the Foster Parent Minimum Standards by clicking HERE.

– Age: 19 or older (if one spouse is younger and they’re related to the child an  exception may be made.

– Marital Status: Foster parents may be single (single includes never married or legally divorced) or married. If living together in a relationship, foster parents shall have been married in a legal ceremony or by common law, as defined by law, and have been in this relationship for at least one year. If married applicants are living together, either at the time of application or at any later time, both married spouses must be approved as foster parents.

– Foster parents shall be able to: Read and write;  Demonstrate an understanding of the needs of children; Give time and attention to the needs of children; and Provide opportunities for the physical, mental, emotional, and social development of children in care. Responsive to the changing needs of children; Flexible in expectations and attitudes toward children, including those from other cultures.Participants in any planning and delivery of services required for children in care.

– Religious beliefs: Foster parents shall respect the religious beliefs and cultural heritage of foster children, and shall not interfere with the reasonable practice of a foster child’s religious beliefs. Foster parents shall not coerce a foster child into participating in religious or ethnic events against the child’s will.

– Income:  Maintain income or resources to meet the needs of the foster family, basic household needs, and the additional needs of the foster children (See Financial Statement for Foster and/or Adoptive Applicants, DHR-FCS-705).

– Transportation: Maintain a valid driver’s license and motor vehicle insurance, as required by law, on vehicles transporting children and provide proof of insurance and a valid driver’s license to the Department.  Maintain reliable transportation when transporting foster children that is readily available, in safe condition, and has the required safety features.

– Complete Training: Complete thirty (30) hours of preparation/training as provided by the approving agency prior to being approved. Complete and maintain current CPR certification. If approved for infants and young children, the training must include Pediatric and Infant First Aid/CPR

– Housing: The home and grounds shall be maintained in a clean and safe condition. A) A play space for indoor and outdoor activities will be provided. This area shall be free from hazardous conditions that may cause injury. B) The residence shall have a working telephone. Temporary disruptions of service shall be reported to the approving agency within 24 hours. C) Electrical service. D) Water. E) Gas (if used for cooking/heating). F) A waste disposal system (city sewage or septic tank). G) Ventilation. If fans are used for ventilation, blades within reach of children shall be clean and enclosed for safety. H) Comfortably regulated cooling and heating. I) Lighting that provides for necessary activities and safety.

– Bedrooms and Bathrooms: A) Beds and mattresses shall be of size and quality to allow good sleeping posture. In addition, if infants will be placed in the home, additional guidelines shall be followed related to baby cribs. They are: (1) Slats on babies’ cribs shall be no further apart than 2 3/8 inches. (2) Mattresses must be waterproof and fit tightly inside cribs, no more than two finger widths between mattress and each end of the bed. (3) Cribs and mattresses shall be kept clean and disinfected. (4) There shall be a distance of (3) three feet between babies’ cribs. B) Separate sleeping rooms shall be provided for children over age 6 who are of the opposite sex. C)  An adequate number of bedrooms shall be provided for all persons residing in the home. D) Bedrooms for foster children shall be used only for the child’s sleeping, personal time, and study. E) Bedrooms for foster children shall have adequate space for the child’s personal belongings. F) Sanitary bathroom facilities that provide privacy shall be available for use by family members and foster children. G) Accommodations shall be available for the special care of sick members of the family and foster children.

– Cleanliness: Home Dwelling A) The house shall be clean overall. B) The house shall be maintained so as to prevent and/or eliminate rodent and insect infestation. This includes the presence of screens on doors and windows if used for ventilation. C) Outside garbage and trash shall be stored in containers with lids. D) Garbage and trash shall be removed at intervals to avoid creating a nuisance or menace to health.

– Animals in the Home:  A)  An animal shall not be kept if the animal has shown aggressive behavior. B) Animals shall have an annual certificate of rabies vaccination on file in the home if required by law to be vaccinated. C) An animal that is not aggressive but could pose a threat to the health and safety

of children such as, but not limited to lizards, snakes and turtles, shall be routinely confined (e.g. a cage or an aquarium) in an appropriate container.

– Swimming Pools and Hot Tubs: A) Pools shall be maintained in clean and safe condition. B) Foster parents shall develop rules governing pool, hot tub and/or spa use. Rules shall be posted and reviewed with each child. (See Appendix for “Suggested Pool/Spa Safety Rules”) C)  Pools exceeding two (2) feet in depth (above or in ground):  Shall be enclosed by a fence or a solid wall. Where there are windows or door openings into this area, said openings shall be made inaccessible to young children. The sides of an above ground pool shall not be considered a fence or wall. D) The fence shall be at least four (4) feet in height, with a locking gate. The gate and all areas of access shall remain locked at all times the pool is not in use.

– Firearms: Firearms and ammunition must be kept in a locked approved container.

– Meet required physical health standards, an approved home study/ character review, background checks.

If you meet all of these requirements (or can make improvements to your home to fit them) move on to the next step of the application.

4 thoughts on “Minimum Standards for Foster Parenting

  1. Hi Tara! Please reach out to your local county DHR. They will likely be able to give you more specific information!

  2. Hi Stacey! The first step will be to reach out to DHR in your county (you can find contact info on our prospective parent page). The classes are free of charge, and your county office will be able to provide specific dates and times for the next one. It does not cost anything to become a foster parent. Hope that helps!

  3. How do I find these classes that are needed and when are they given? Who do I need to speak to in cullman county to start my requirments? How much are the classes? How much will it cost for me to get licensed and started as a foster parent? Ty.

  4. I have a brand new remodeled studio brand new everything would that not be accepted for foster care?

Leave a Reply