Becoming a Foster Parent
Foster parents provide children with a safe and loving home until a permanent placement can be made. Below are the five steps on how to become a foster parent in Washoe County.
STEP 1: WATCH INFORMATION SESSION
Learn about the application and approval process, ask questions and make an informed decision about becoming a foster parent through Washoe County Human Services Agency (WCHSA).
STEP 2: COMPLETE APPLICATION & BACKGROUND CHECK
Prospective foster parents who have attended an information session and wish to move forward in becoming licensed, must complete and submit all documentation required. WCHSA will arrange for you to submit electronic fingerprints (Live Scan) and assist you with any additional information necessary to request a criminal background clearance.
STEP 3: PRE-SERVICE TRAINING
Prospective foster parents are required to attend 18 hours of the Have a Heart pre-service Training, designed to prepare foster parents in caring for children in foster care who have experienced trauma. If you are interested in a specific child population, additional training services are available.
- Session 1 – Introduction to QPI and Teamwork/Empathy Building
- Session 2 – Grief and Loss/Visitation
- Session 3 – Medical Unit/Trauma Effects
- Session 4 – Trauma 101/Self-Care
- Session 5 – Life of a Case/Understanding Trauma/Attachment
- Session 6 – Building a Safe Place/Understanding Trauma/ Foster Home Licensing Complaints
- Session 7 – Adoptions Unit (Guest Trainer)
STEP 4: HOME STUDY & LICENSING
A WCHSA home study contractor will schedule a time to meet with you and your family in your home, to ensure your home passes a basic safety inspection in order to provide a suitable environment for children who are in foster care. This assessment will discuss your family’s personal history, interests and lifestyles, childcare experiences, the types of children you feel would best fit in your home, and your strengths and skills in meeting the children’s needs. A WCHSA licensing worker will also contact you to discuss what additional documents are needed, review your home study to determine your fitness for becoming a foster parent, complete a final home inspection and address any questions you have about becoming a foster parent.
STEP 5: CONTRACT APPROVAL & PLACEMENT
Once you have completed the steps and meet all requirements to be licensed, you will then be approved, sign a contract by WCHSA, and be listed as an available foster home. You can then be contacted to be a potential placement of a child or children. Additional services to support you in meeting the children’s needs (such as monthly financial and medical assistance, respite care services, support groups, etc.) are made available.