You’re More Qualified Than You Think
Almost anyone can become a foster parent.
You don’t have to be perfect, but you do need to be patient, understanding and committed to a child’s current and future needs. You must be at least 21 years old. You can be single, married or partnered. You can work outside the home (including full-time) and have your own children in the home.
General Requirements for All Certifications:
- Attend a new-family information session.
- Pass a criminal background and caregiver check.
- Have no prior history of involvement with a child welfare agency due to an upheld accusation of child abuse and/or neglect.
- Possess sufficient verifiable sources of income.
- Meet certain safety requirements for the home and have homeowner’s or renter’s liability insurance.
- Have bedroom space for a foster child that meets licensing standards.
- Have vehicle liability insurance and a valid driver’s license if transporting a foster child.
- Participate in professional training based on certification level.
- Be willing and able to work with the child’s biological family.
- Be willing to share experiences with other potential foster parents.
- General foster parents (Level 2) must complete 9 hours of training prior to having a foster child placed. During the first two years of licensure, foster/adoptive parents must complete 33 hours of foundation training and 3 training hours that include information about trauma informed care.
Level 2 VS. Level 3 Licenses
LEVEL 2 – GENERAL FOSTER CARE
Level 2 foster care parents care for children who have minimal to moderate physical, behavioral and emotional issues from exposure to maltreatment. These children have experienced trauma and may struggle with adjusting to a new environment and certain triggers, but with consistent and supportive care, can flourish.
Most children enter foster care at level 2.
We license level 2 foster parents in Milwaukee County and other surrounding counties.
LEVEL 3 – TREATMENT FOSTER CARE
Treatment foster care is for children who have been exposed to significant trauma and often need more support to address their needs. These children often react with a number of behaviors that are unique to them. They can also have medical needs, mental health diagnoses or cognitive delays and disorders.
We license treatment foster care homes across the state of Wisconsin.
In addition to Level 2 foster care requirements, you must meet at least THREE of the following for Treatment Foster Care Licensure:
- One-year experience as a foster parent or kinship provider.
- Minimum of five years’ experience working with or parenting children.
- High school diploma or equivalent.
- Minimum of 500 hours experience as a respite care provider for children under the supervision of a human services agency.
- College, vocational, technical or advanced degree in the area of child’s treatment needs such as nursing, medicine, social work, or psychology.
- A substantial relationship with the child; need case manager approval.
- Work or professional experience demonstrating the knowledge, skill, ability, and motivation to meet the needs of a child with a level of need of 3.
- Level 3 foster parents must complete 42 hours of training prior to having a child placed in their home. This training is completed in 90-120 days. During the first two years of licensure, foster parents must complete 18 hours of training.
The need for foster parents in Wisconsin is becoming a crisis. If you have an interest in fostering, don’t rule yourself out so fast. Please contact us at 855.GROW.HOPE or [email protected] and we can chat about your qualifications.