Child foster parents provide care in:
- Emergency shelter: Needed in emergency situations, providers must be will to care for both female and male children ages 0-18 and have some flexibility for sibling groups. Placements are typically 1 to 8 days.
- Family foster care: Foster families care for children for 1 day to several months.
- Special services homes: Foster families capable of providing care for children with medical needs, developmental disabilities, emotional & behavioral special needs, and youth who have been found delinquent.
- Resource family homes: Foster families provide care for children, actively support reunification while committing to the possibility of adoption if reunification can not take place.
- Respite care: Foster families care for children for periods of time, as short as one day or up to 29 days. The purpose is to provide the children’s parents a brief break in their care responsibilities.
- 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.
- You and other adult household members 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 pass a criminal and social services background check. Must be no history of abuse or neglect of children or vulnerable adults.
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.
Step 1: Attend an information session
Attend the Foster Care, Adoption and Concurrent Planning session.
You will learn:
- What is involved in becoming a foster, adoptive or kinship provider
- About licensing and child placement procedures
- About what to expect while you work with a child placing agency
While you are there, we will give you an application. You must attend this session before we can give you an application.
2021 Informational Sessions
- May 24 from 6 - 9:30 p.m. (session will be held virtually - link will be sent to you after you register)
- July 19 from 1 - 4:30 p.m.
- September 27 from 6 - 9:30 p.m.
- November 15 from 1 - 4:30 p.m.
Information Sessions subject to cancelation as required by the current Covid-19. situation.
Step 2: Complete and return the application packet
Complete and return the application packet to:
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.
Minnesota Foster Care/Adoption Education Class
These classes will familiarize you with the needs of children waiting in foster care and the adoption process. Topics covered include:
- grief and loss
- common issues in mental health
- attachment and claiming
- abuse and neglect
- child development
- transcultural adoption
Who Should Attend:
All applicants who want to pursue adoption must complete Minnesota Foster Care/Adoption Education Class. This is a two-day training (8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.). Applicants must attend both days.
When & Where is the Training Offered:
Training held at:
How Do I Register?
Each foster parent must complete 12 hours of training per year.
- 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.
- See page 16 of the “Minnesota Family Foster Care Umbrella Rule” for a list of possible topics.
- DVD’s and Books: If training is obtained by viewing DVDs or reading books; please complete a self-study questionnaire and return the questionnaire to your licensor.
- On-Line Courses: If training is obtained on-line, provide a copy of the training certificate to your licensor. If the online site does not provide a certificate, please complete a self-study questionnaire and return the questionnaire to your licensor.
On-Line Courses - If training is obtained on-line, provide a copy of the training certificate to your licensor. If the on-line site does not provide a certificate, please complete a self-study questionnaire and return the questionnaire to your licensor. The following is a list of on-line training sites. It is not an exhaustive list.
Therapy Sessions - Therapy sessions can be counted for up to 6 hours of training/year if the foster parent participates in the entire session with the child. Please complete a self-study questionnaire and return the questionnaire to your licensor. If the foster parent is assigned homework (i.e. reading, implementing a specific plan), additional hours may be approved by your licensor.
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
Mandated Reporter Training
Mandated reporter training will discuss how to make a mandated report in Olmsted county- including how to reach intake (nights and weekends), what information is helpful to provide when making a report, and what happens to the information after you make a report. Training will also touch on different types of abuse and what is considered a report, a brief outline on the child protection process in Olmsted county, as well as information on our child welfare programs.
Please note: Olmsted County is requiring that all providers complete this training, and the training must be repeated every five years.