Learn About Fostering

What is Foster Care?

Foster care is when people, other than a child's parents, provide a safe place for a child to be cared for. Foster parents take kids into their homes and let them stay for a day, a month, a few years, or even a lifetime. A child may enter foster care for many reasons including abuse, neglect and abandonment. Children may also enter care if their parents are unable to take care of the them due to medical in-capacities, incarceration or death. Children in foster care are preferably placed with kinship families such as grandparents or other relatives. When this is not an option, children may be placed in the homes of non-kinship families. Alternatively, children may be moved to a group home which houses numerous unrelated children under the care of a single set of house parents or rotating staff of trained caregivers.

Who Can Foster?

In most instances, your race, marital status, religion, age, income, educational background or sexual orientation will not automatically disqualify you from adopting a child from U.S. foster care. You don’t need to own your own home, have children already, be young, wealthy, or a stay-at-home parent to adopt or foster.

Characteristics needed to be a good foster or adoptive parent include:

  • Being stable, mature, dependable, and flexible
  • Having the ability to advocate for children
  • Being a team player with your family or child welfare worker

Step by step how to get started with fostering

Find out more about what it means to foster to adopt

Answers to the most frequently asked questions about foster care