Foster care is a temporary intervention for children who are unable to remain safely in their homes. Every effort is made to keep children with their families unless the safety needs of the children or legal mandates indicate otherwise. Once a child is placed in foster care, the goal is to provide permanency, safety, and enduring relationships, along with a sense of family, stability, and belonging in the least restrictive setting possible.
Who Can Be a Foster Parent?
Foster parents are an important part of providing a temporary intervention for children who are unable to remain safely in their homes, while maintaining the safety, nurturing and support of a family-based setting. In order to assure a safe and stable home for children in foster care, there are some basic qualifications that are required:
- Foster parents may be legally married couples or single individuals (aged 21 or older). Couples who are not legally married are unable to be licensed. Same-sex couples are included within this requirement.
- Foster parents must be US citizens or legal residents.
- Foster parents and all persons aged 18 and older in the home must pass background checks.
- Foster parents need to be financially stable and able to support their family without relying upon the foster care reimbursement.
- Foster parents need to be healthy enough to care for children, as determined by their own medical provider.
- Foster parents will not be licensed to do both foster care and day care at the same time.
While foster parents can be homeowners or renters, there are physical aspects of your home that are important. To put it succinctly, your home needs to be clean, in good repair, and free from health and fire hazards. It also needs to have enough room for any children you intend to foster.
Where Can I Learn More?
Visit the Utah Foster Care website opens in a new tab to find more information on becoming a foster parent, including opportunities to ask current foster parents about their experiences. You may also contact our DCFS Kinship and Foster Care Program Administrator at (801) 556-5246 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resources for Foster Parents
- Utah Foster Care provides initial training for licensed Resource Families, specific training on
child development, grief and loss, and strategies for meeting children’s special needs, and continued training and support as part of the Resource Family community.
- utahfostercare.org opens in a new tab
- Children’s Service Society’s Grandfamilies program provides free resources to those caring for grandchildren or other relatives. Programs include classes for caregivers, monthly support groups, and therapeutic counseling services.
- css.utah.org opens in a new tab
- Care About Childcare has information about daycare providers in your area and their qualifications.
- United Way 211 is a statewide information and referral line that connects individuals and families to services and resources such as housing, food, childcare, transportation, financial assistance, and more.
- uw.org/211 opens in a new tab, or dial 211
- Utah Division of Workforce Services can provide financial assistance and medical, food stamp and/ or child care benefits through a Specified Relative Grant. You do not need to have guardianship or custody of the child to apply.