Become a Foster Parent

Inquiry Form

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(email only)

Ready to get started? Complete our inquiry form and a Family Alternatives representative will contact you with more information.

Is foster parenting right for me?

Over 500,000 children are living in foster care in the United States today, approximately 17,000 of those live in Minnesota.

Foster parenting requires understanding, compassion, knowledge, responsibility and collaboration. You are caring for children who must live away from their own families and have established ways of thinking, feeling and behaving based on their personal history. Parenting someone else’s child can be challenging; it can also be very rewarding.


Foster parents must have:
  • Compassion and patience for children who may have special needs and challenges related to trauma and attachment.
  • Confidence in parenting skills and a willingness to participate in ongoing parent education.
  • Ability to be a part of a team with other professional staff.
  • Willingness to take small steps with children to help them achieve their potential.
  • Empathy and patience to work with the child’s support team toward permanency.
  • Ability to comply with state and county regulations regarding children in care.
How do I get started?

Please review the licensing process and send us a completed Foster Care Applicant Inquiry Form if you are interested in becoming a foster parent or simply want to explore this meaningful service.

If you have any questions or require more information please contact us at (612) 746-8170 or email us at 

Licensing Process

Become familiar with the licensing process at Family Alternatives.

About The Process

Before placing a child in your home, federal and state law requires that your home be licensed according to policies established by the Department of Human Services.

1. Inquiry Form

The first step of the licensing assessment process at Family Alternatives is to complete the inquiry form. Please click here to download the form. After the form is completed, a staff member from Family Alternatives will contact you to arrange an initial visit.

2. Initial Visit

Once the inquiry form has been submitted and reviewed, a member of the Family Alternatives staff will contact you to arrange an initial home visit. This visit will allow us to meet with you in person and answer any questions you may have and conduct a home safety check.

3. Orientation Training

After the inquiry form and the initial home visit are completed, you will receive information for our foster parent orientation classes. These classes provide knowledge and tools to work with youth who have not only experienced severe trauma, but are also working through the transition into a new home. Attendance to all classes is required. If you are currently a licensed foster parent, you may be waived from some of these trainings.
In addition to receiving vital information about our practice at Family Alternatives, you will complete the initial licensing paperwork and background study information with our licensing coordinator. The licensing coordinator will walk you through all the steps of this paperwork, as well as answer any questions you may have throughout the process.

4. Home Study

Following the completion of orientation training, you will be assigned two social workers from Family Alternatives to complete the licensing Home Study Assessment process. Our licensing workers will contact you to schedule a time to meet with you in your home to review the following:

  • Inspection of the home, including a possible fire inspection.
  • Request and review three non-relative references.
  • Evaluate your qualifications for licensure.
  • Conduct an in-depth interview.
  • Complete background checks.
5. Licensure/Approval/Certification

After completing your training, homestudy, and necessary paperwork, your family will receive a Child Foster Care license and be assigned a Family Alternatives licensing worker.

6. Placement

The placement process is a collaborative effort.  Your Family Alternatives licensing worker will call to discuss referrals of children we believe will be successful in your home. When you receive a call to discuss a child, you will have an opportunity to review their history and ask questions.