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Starting the Foster Care Licensing Process

Once you’ve made the decision to further explore what it means to provide foster care, the following information, links, and contacts will help you get started with the process.

Contact MN ADOPT
We are here to answer your questions! While our goal is to provide comprehensive and detailed information on our website, we understand foster care can be a complex process and families sometimes have individualized needs or questions they want to discuss.  Our staff is happy to take time to answer your questions, so you can be assured you have the correct information you need to begin your process. You can complete an inquiry form indicating which agencies, counties, or tribe you would like to contact you about their foster care licensing process.

Contact a Private Agency
In Minnesota, there are multiple agencies that provide foster care for children.
Locate one that serves your county and contact them to answer your question, request information and find out the next steps at their agency or complete the inquiry form and we will have them contact you.

Contact Your County or Tribe
Every county in Minnesota works with families who want to provide foster care to a child as a temporary resource. Several of the tribes have licensing workers and license foster homes on or near the reservations. Some counties and tribes may have waiting lists or may have long processing times. COUNTY AGENCIES

Whether you choose to work through a county, tribal community, or private agency, attending a general information meeting will be a required initial step. This may be held in a group or individual session. The links below will take you to listings of both private and county agencies and their adoption training and orientation schedules. The next section includes a list of questions to guide your first conversations with a county or agency. We also have a list of possible questions to ask the county, tribe, or agency when you call.

The foster care process can be confusing and overwhelming, with many rules, processes and terms to learn and understand. Agencies and counties may also have varying processes which can add to the feelings of confusion.

In order to aid you in initial conversations, we urge you to begin with the following questions when contacting a County or Agency to begin your adoption process.

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 types of children does your agency mostly place (age, gender, behaviors, sibling groups, 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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