Basic Licensing Requirements to Become a Foster Parent

posted by Dr. James G. Hood
Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Basic licensing requirements for anyone applying to be a licensed foster parent in the state of Washington.

  • Must be at least 21 years old.
  • Must not have been convicted of a crime of violence nor have been found to be a perpetrator of child abuse.
  • Applicants and others living in the home, age 16 or older, must have background/ criminal-history clearance.
  • If you have lived outside the state of Washington within the last three years, your fingerprints will be sent for clearance to the FBI.
  • The applicants must complete the foster/adoptive parent “Pre-Service” training and First-Aid, CPR, and HIV training. You can usually get these trainings at no cost to you.
  • Applicants and other adults (age 18 and older) in the home must submit current Tuberculosis test results.
  • Applicants must provide the names of at least 3 personal references.
  • The applicant maybe a homeowner or a renter but the residence must be inspected and approved by the licensor.
  • The applicants must provide the licensor detailed information about themselves and their families so that the licensor can thoroughly assess whether the applicants will be suitable foster parents.
  • Applicants must have sufficient income to support themselves without relying on foster care payments. In two-parent households, both parents may work outside the home if the child’s care will not be adversely affected.
  • Applicants must discipline children in a positive manner without the use of physical punishment.

The full licensing process usually takes 60-90 days, depending on how quickly you meet the requirements. If you’ve lived outside the state of Washington in the past 3 years, however, the mandatory fingerprint check may take longer, so that process should get started as soon as possible, if needed.

For more helpful foster parent information follow this link!

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