How to Become a Licensed Foster Parent in Indiana

May 31, 2019

I wanted my first blog post on my new website to be one that holds so much meaning to me and one that can help others! I’ve always been a huge advocate for foster care, I believe it is something God has called each and every one of us to do.

I have gotten asked so many times throughout these past 6 months- “how do you become a licensed foster parent?”  Let me first start off by saying it varies state by state!  Secondly, this isn’t something that can be completed within a month – it takes time, patience, and commitment. Jon and I chose to become licensed straight through the state of Indiana, however there are also different private foster care agencies within the state that you can choose to go through directly.  It is just up to you and your personal preference which route you’d like to go.

If you already know you WANT and NEED to become a foster parent, go ahead and skip all the details below and press here!  This will take you straight to the state’s online inquiry.  All you need to do is complete the form and press send, and then your county’s foster care specialist will be in touch with you. YAY!

But for my dear prospective foster parent – here are all the steps, details, and information on how to become a Licensed Foster Parent in the state of Indiana.

In Indiana, foster parents must be licensed by the Department of Child Services.  The requirements for licensure include:

  • Must be at least 21 years of age
  • Passing a criminal history and background check that includes a fingerprint-based national history
  • Demonstrating financial stability
  • Own or renting your own home that meets physical safety standards (e.g., fire extinguishers, adequate bedroom space, reliable transportation)
  • Medical statements from a physician for all household members
  • Successful completion of pre-service training requirements
  • Successful completion of First Aid, CPR, and Universal Precautions training
  • Positive personal reference statements
  • Foster parents do not need to be married. They may be single or cohabitating. A live-in relationship with a significant other or same-sex partner should be established for at least one year to demonstrate stability.
  • Home visits from the Regional Licensing Specialist
  • Completing all required forms within the licensing packet

To be honest, the licensing packet is intense and thick.  You have to go through and answer a lot of questions, fill in the blanks, and have an idea on the type of foster child you are willing to bring into your home; meaning – are you okay to have a child that smears poop on your walls, or has a disability, or even has had a drug issue?  I know, it is sad having to basically judge, but you have to really think about it and fill out the 50 different kinds of scenarios with an answer of “Yes”, “Willing to talk about it”, or “No”.

Here is the entire list of forms that are in that 3 inch thick packet that will need to be filled out prior to licensure.

1) Application for Foster Family Home License (State Form 10100)
2) SAFE Questionnaire 1
3) SAFE Reference Form
4) Financial Verification for Foster Family Homes (State Form 55734)
5) Water Agreement (State Form 54612) & Instructions for Water Analysis
6) Resource Parent Role Acknowledgement (State Form 54642)
7) Physical Environment Checklist (State Form 53186)
8) Medical Report for Caregivers (State Form 45145)
9) Medical Report for Household Members (State Form 45144)
10) Child Care Plan (State Form 54608)
11) CPS & Criminal Background Checks (State Form 52802 & 53259)
12) W-9 & Direct Deposit Forms

In addition to the forms, you will need to complete or provide the following:
1) Schedule and complete your pre-service training, which includes 10 hours of Resource & Adoptive Parents Training (RAPT I, RAPT II, and RAPT III)
2) Schedule and complete CPR, First Aid, and Bloodborne Pathogens
3) Provide a copy of the Birth Certificates for everyone in the home
4) Provide a copy of the Driver’s License for anyone in the home who will be driving the children in addition to insurance and registrations for the vehicles.
5) Provide rabies verification for any pets in the home (dogs/cats).
6) Schedule and complete Fingerprints

I wasn’t messing around when I say that the entire process of becoming a foster parent is intense.  But it is SO worth it.  If you have any questions at all regarding foster care, please don’t hesitate to contact me.  I will try to answer your questions as thoroughly as I can. If I can’t though, I will make sure I direct you to someone in DCS who will be able to help you. Thank you so much for considering helping these children who need us all so badly.