Who are the children? Children who are in need of foster/relative care through DSHS are temporarily separated from their families due to issues of abuse or neglect—not through any fault of their own. The children are newborn to 17 years old. Most have suffered some degree of abuse and/or neglect but will likely still suffer from separation from their biological families. Infants often test positive for drugs at birth. Some children have serious mental health issues due to their past. Teens and sibling groups often wait the longest to be part of a stable, loving family.
What are the requirements to be a foster/adoptive family? The primary criteria are the ability to provide a safe, nurturing home; sufficient income to support yourself and a child and good mental and physical health. You can own or rent, be single or coupled, male or female. In addition you must, be tested for tuberculosis and have a Washington State criminal background check years and submit fingerprints . You must have adequate space for a child and be emotionally stable and mature enough to deal with children who have experienced trauma.
How many children can I have in my home? In a two-parent home you can be licensed for 6 children including your own. A single parent can be licensed for 4 including their own.
How much training is required? 27 hours of initial training is required including a foster care orientation and PRIDE/pre-service classes. A foster parent must have a current CPR/First Aid card which must include information about HIV/AIDS. Ongoing training is required which averages out to 12 hours per year. The license is renewed every three years so by the time of renewal you will need a total of 36 training hours.
Most Training is FREE!
What type of support is available to me and the kids I care for? The state of Washington provides financial support monthly to cover the cost of a child’s basic care. The amount depends on the age and the needs of the child. Additionally, all dependent children are given a Provider One card to access the State’s health care plan for medical, mental health and dental care—excluding orthodontia.
KFCA and Foster Care Resource Network provide a variety of support services and connections to other resources.
Do I have to accept any child that I am asked to? No, you know yourself and your abilities best. You have the right to choose the sex and age range of children you have in your home.
Can I adopt foster kids placed in my home? If a child becomes legally free the current foster provider is often the first and most appropriate option for the child. However, the State tries to keep families together. For that reason suitable relatives are given priority to become the ‘forever’ home. The permanency plan will be determined by the ‘team’, of which you are a key member!
What is 1624? This bill requires regional and statewide quarterly meetings between Children’s Administration (CA), foster parents, and the Foster Parent Association of Washington State (FPAWS).
Section 10 (15) of this bill requires CA to:
- Consult with foster parents, including members of the FPAWS, at least quarterly on regional and statewide levels.
- Receive information and comments regarding how CA is performing the duties and meeting the obligations regarding the following:
- Recruitment of foster homes
- Retention of foster homes
- Effective training for foster parents
- Coordinated and comprehensive plan that strengthens services for the protection of children
Foster parent representatives Region 3 North
- Josh Hinman, Port Orchard (360) 536-3205
- Kisha Thomas, Bremerton (360) 551-5893–cell