What is foster care?

Foster care is home-like care provided by licensed foster parents for children who cannot live with their parents because they are unsafe, have special care or treatment needs that their parents are unable to manage or there are other circumstances resulting in their parents or family being unable to care for them/

Do I have to be married to become a foster parent?

No, you do not have to be married. Foster parents can be married, single, and in unmarried relationships. 

Do I have to stay at home to become a foster parent?

No, many foster parents work outside of the home. Foster parents should discuss with their licensing agency what options may be available to assist with child care costs. 

How old do I have to be to become a foster parent?

To become a foster parent, you must be 21 years of age or older. There is no other age requirement and many “empty nesters” find foster parenting to be a rewarding experience. 

Is there an income requirement to become a foster parent?

There is no minimum income requirement for foster parents, as long as they can take care of family expenses outside of the reimbursement received for fostering.  

Are there requirements to become a foster parent?

To become a foster parent, you must meet all of the following:

· 21 years of age or older

· Responsible adult

· Criminal background check, law violations, and other background information requirements

· Your home must meet all physical environment requirements 

Do I have to have parented before to become a foster parent?

No, many foster parents are childless. They are, however, responsible people who have made a commitment to children and demonstrate an ability to parent or learn to parent.

Will I be reimbursed for providing care for a foster child?

All licensed foster parents receive a foster care payment to reimburse for the care of a foster child, called the Uniform Foster Care Rate.

Is there child care assistance available for foster parents?

Foster parents qualify for child care assistance as long as the foster parent is in an activity that qualifies under the Wisconsin Shares Program, including employment or education courses. Foster parents should contact their foster care coordinator or the child’s caseworker to find out specific information about how to enroll in the Wisconsin Shares Program. Since the Wisconsin Shares Program has established reimbursement rates, it is important for foster parents to fully understand any co-pay requirements that may apply to a specific child care provider.