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Starting the Foster Care Licensing Process

Contact MN ADOPT
MN ADOPT staff is available to answer questions.  Our website provides comprehensive and detailed information but cannot always replace direct conversations. Foster care is a complex process and some families have individualized needs and questions.  Please reach out to MN ADOPT directly with questions.  You can also complete a foster care/adoption INQUIRY FORM.  This will allow you to connect with a county, agency or tribe, as well as MN ADOPT’s fostering network staff.

Contact a Private Agency
Minnesota has multiple agencies that provide foster care licensing services.  An agency list can be viewed HERE.  There are five PPAI (Public Private Adoption Initiative) agencies that provide foster-to-adopt services for no fees for families.  The PPAI agency information can be found here https://www.mnadopt.org/resources/private-agencies/

Contact Your County or Tribe
Every county in Minnesota also licenses foster families that live in their county.  Several of the tribes license foster homes on or near the reservations.  A list of county agencies can be found HERE.

The county, private agencies, and tribal communities typically offer an informational meeting, in-person or online, as an initial first step.  For help deciding between a county or agency, please listen in to our two-part Foster Care 101 Podcast series, Foster Care Licensing: Agency vs County (1).

Foster care licensing involves a lengthy process with many rules and requirements.  Agencies and counties may also have variations in their processes.  It is important to ask questions and feel comfortable with the agency or county.  Below are some questions to start initial conversations with a county or agency.

Please explain to me your different foster care programs (shelter, traditional).

Do I live in an area you serve? 

Am I required to be licensed for foster care in order to provide respite care at your agency?

How many families are licensed by your agency? How many children are in your foster care homes?

What is the population of children that your agency places? (age, gender, behaviors, sibling group, ethnic background, race, etc.)

What supports are available to families during the foster care licensing process (within agency as well as community based)?

What supports are available to families once a child is placed in our home (within agency as well as community based)?

If I choose to move forward with your agency, how long would it take before I would be able to begin the licensing process?

What is the first step towards becoming licensed with your agency?

What can I do to prepare myself while waiting to be assigned a licensing worker?

How often do families meet with their licensing worker?

Are licensing workers available evenings/weekends?

 What are ways families can advocate for themselves during this process?

What are your agencies training requirements?

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