Regular Foster Care
This is what most people think of when someone says foster care. These are foster families that providing temporary care for children while actively supporting reunification with their parents. Foster families care for children from one day to several months.
Concurrent Planning/ Resource Families
These are foster families that provide care for children while actively supporting reunification with their parents. At the same time, these families are willing to commit to the possibility of adoption, if reunification can't take place.
Emergency Shelter Care
Foster parents are needed in emergency situations. Families must be willing to care for all children ages 0-18. Placements typically last from 1-8 days. What makes this program unique from the other programs, is that our foster families are on call for one week at a time and can receive a monthly stipend for just being on call.
These foster families care for children for specific short periods of time. The purpose of respite care is to provide the children's parents or caregivers a brief break in their care responsibilities.
The program provides temporary, short-term care for children in Olmsted County while families address a crisis situation.
A few things for you to consider before applying for any of the above programs:
- Must be an Olmsted County resident.
- Must be at least 21 years of age at the time of application, there is no upper limit.
- A request for licensure cannot be denied based on marital status.
- You may work outside the home.
- All household members who are 18 years of age and older must sign a statement, indicating they have been free of chemical use problems for the past two years.
- All household members who are 13 years of age or older must complete a criminal and social services background check.
Do I have to live in Olmsted County?
Yes. For Olmsted County to license you as a foster care provider, you must live in Olmsted County. If you do not, you can check with the county that you live in.
Do I have to live in a house?
No. Apartments, condominiums, or mobile homes may be options.
Do I have to be married?
Can I be a single parent?
How old do I need to be?
You must be 21 years or older to be a licensed child foster care provider.
Can I work outside of my home?
Who pays for the child's medical expenses?
All medical and dental expenses are provided for the child through the county or private insurance.
Can a foster child share a bedroom with my child?
Yes. Children of the same sex may share a bedroom when appropriate. Each child should have his/her own bed.
How long do foster children stay in foster homes?
Foster care varies in length depending on the child and his/her family's circumstances.
Can I adopt a foster child?
There are circumstances in which a foster child could be adopted. However, many other factors are considered first.
Can we afford to take a child?
Providing care for children is expensive. The county provides financial support for foster families. The amount varies depending on the age and needs of the child. All medical and dental expenses are provided for the child through the county or private insurance. Foster care payments should at least cover expenses. Helping a person in need is a challenge - one that could change your life as well as the life of a child in your care.
Is my home okay?
Apartments, townhomes, single-family homes - all are appropriate locations for foster care or adopted children. Most foster children share a bedroom with a same-gender child close in age. They need to have their own beds; some need their own rooms. Most kids come with few possessions, but will need a dresser drawer and a bit of closet space. If they come to you without adequate clothing for the season, the children's social worker will assist in obtaining a clothing allowance.
Where do the kids come from?
Most of the children needing foster or adoptive families are in the social services system due to past abuse or neglect. They may have been traumatized, most are doing pretty well emotionally, others are really hurting, and may show that in their behavior.
What are their needs?
Kids, like adults, can be depressed, anxious, fearful, and angry. Some have medical or developmental problems. Many have delayed social skills or special school needs. You'll work closely with social services, the school, therapists and other professionals, and, in many cases, with the child's extended family.
How do I learn more about foster care?
Call 507-328-6390 for more information on child foster care.
Informational Session/Licensing Process
Step 1: Attend an information session
Attend the Child Foster Care Informational session. NOTE: Although spouses/partners do not need to attend the same session, each person must attend an information session.
You will learn:
- What is involved in becoming a child foster care provider
- What opportunities are available as a child foster care provider
- Full-time foster care: Provide care for children from 1 day to several months
- Concurrent/Resource family: Foster families who provide care for children, actively support reunification while committing to the possibility of adoption if reunification cannot take place
- Respite care: Temporary care of a child to provide relief to his/her caretaker and is typically 1 to 2 weekends per month
- Emergency shelter care: Brief care provided to children, age o to 18, in emergency situations
- About licensing and child placement procedures
- About what to expect while you work with a child placing agency
After completing the information session, if you are interested in receiving an application, one will be mailed to you.
- October 12, 2023 from 1-3:30 p.m. at 2117 Campus Drive SE, Rochester, MN, Conference Room 161
Informational Sessions subject to cancellation as required by the current COVID-19 requirements.
Step 2: Complete and return the application packet
Child Foster Care
2117 Campus Drive SE
Rochester, MN 55904
After we receive your application, you will be assigned a licensing worker.
Step 3: Complete a background study
Everyone living in your home who is 13 years or older will need to complete a background study. This will include fingerprinting everyone in your household 18 years old or older. We will give you instructions about how to complete fingerprinting.
Step 4: Attend additional training
There is mandatory and elective training that needs to be completed before you are licensed. Your licensing worker will work with you to schedule these.
Step 5: Successfully complete a home study
After all of the background studies and any other required trainings are completed, your licensing worker will meet with you and begin your home study.
During your first home visit, your licensing worker will conduct a home inspection. If your licensing worker determines that a fire inspection is needed, a request will be made to the State Fire Marshal's Office.
Additional visits (typically four to six) between yourself and the licensing worker are necessary to complete the home study. During the home study, we will ask about your personal history, your support system, your relationships, your parenting style, your placement preferences, etc.
Step 6: Receive your license
Your license is issued when:
- The background study is complete
- Three references have been received
- All training is completed
- Your home study is complete
- All necessary corrections have been made to your home (per State Fire Marshal and licensing requirements).
The agency makes a recommendation to the Minnesota Department of Human Services who issues your license.
Typically, a license is issued within 120 days from the date your application is received by our agency.
Step 7: Congratulations!
You are now a foster parent with Olmsted County & can take your first placement.
The forms and information sheets are Adobe PDF documents and will open in a separate window.
Foster Care Provider Reimbursement Form (link opens to DocuSign form)
To complete reimbursement form:
- Click "Foster Care Provider Reimbursement Form"
- Complete required information (name, address, city, state, ZIP, phone number)
- Enter information for which you are requesting payment
- Enter amounts, which will calculate automatically (there is a slight delay)
- Attach receipts, if applicable
- Electronically sign.
Olmsted County sponsors a parent led adoption support group. The group meets on the 4th Thursday every month.
If you would like information about the group, call Debra Dalin at 507-328-6432
There is required and elective training that needs to be completed before you are licensed. Your licensing worker will work with you to ensure these requirements are met.
Each foster parent must complete 12 hours of training per year. These hours include required and elective trainings.
If the foster parent has not completed the required annual training at the time of re-licensure and does not show good cause why the training was not completed, the foster parent may not accept new foster children until the training is completed.
Foster Parent Handbook
The forms and information sheets are Adobe PDF documents and will open in a separate window.
Disasters, Emergencies, & Injuries
Foster Care Basics-Overview
Annual Licensing Forms
Placements- Full Time, Adoptive, Kindship, Respite & Relief
Training & Supports