Child Foster Care

The Basics of Foster Care

Foster families provide homes for children whose families are unable or unwilling to care for them. The temporary and complex nature of foster care places special demands on foster parents. They are asked to take someone else's child into their home, care for the child and treat the child as a member of their family.

Foster Care is more than having a child or children in your home on a temporary basis.  It is an opportunity to work with the child’s biological parents to help build a child’s future. Many children who are moved from their family homes for foster care do so because their safety or health is at risk. Often they continue to visit their families until they can be reunited. So in addition to food, housing, and clothing, they need emotional support, guidance, and, above all, hope.

Challenges With Foster Care

Foster parents are asked to care for children who often have challenging behaviors that require a lot of time and supervision. While Anoka County provides help, support, and training, foster parents provide a safe, caring, and nurturing environment. 

Anoka County is in need of foster parents who can care for:
  • children of all ages, particularly in southern Anoka County
  • teens transitioning into adulthood
  • sibling groups of four or more in need of care together
  • culturally diverse children
  • children with severe emotional disorders
  • children affected by drugs and alcohol
The Anoka County Child Foster Care Program provides the necessary support and training to enable foster parents to provide daily care and supervision for foster children. Child foster care providers must meet licensing requirements. 

Licensing Requirements

The first, and most important, requirement is that you love kids. If you meet this requirement, review the checklist below to see whether you’d meet licensing requirements.
  • live in Anoka County
  • be at least 21-years-old, financially stable and responsible
  • have appropriate sleeping space
    • There must be enough bedrooms for everyone.
    • Foster children can share a bedroom with a child of the same sex, if the room is large enough.
    • They cannot share a bedroom with an adult or a child of the opposite sex.
  • complete an application for foster care
  • allow Anoka County to complete a criminal history background check on all household members who are 13-years-old or older
  • live in a home or apartment that meets fire safety code
  • abide by a “No Corporal Punishment” rule
  • be available to transport children to visitations and medical appointments
  • provide the County with three personal references
  • participate in a home study that includes interviews with all household members
  • attend on-going training (12 hours annually for each adult in the household)
  • be single or married
  • rent or own your home
Other things you should know
  • You should be one year from a major life change such as a marriage, divorce, birth of a first child, or a significant loss, and two years from successfully completing chemical dependency treatment.
  • Day care and foster care licensing should not be started at the same time.
  • It is not necessary to have children of your own, but it is important to have experience with children.
  • Foster parenting is not a job so you need to have enough income to meet your own household needs.
  • If you work, keep in mind, we do not reimburse extra for child care or after-school care. School aged children and teens need an adult to get them off to school and will need a supervised plan for after school. Your work schedule needs to be flexible enough to transport children.
  • You need to have reliable transportation because foster parents need to transport children to appointments several times a week.