Becoming a Foster Parent
Foster families are an invaluable part of a team that works together to ensure the health and safety of children in need of a nurturing home. Missouri is always looking for foster parents to provide safe and caring temporary homes for children whose families are currently unable to care for them.
How do I become a foster parent?
To be a foster parent you must:
- Be at least 21 years of age
- Complete a child abuse/neglect check and criminal record check including fingerprints
- Be in good health, both physically and mentally
- Have a stable income
- Be willing to participate in and complete a free training and assessment process
- Be part of a professional team willing to voice perspectives and concerns
- Be willing to partner with the child's family
Anyone can apply to become a foster parent in Missouri, as long as they are 21 years old and willing to go through the training and assessment process. That process includes background checks, health screenings, financial discussions and home assessments.
Many people think you have to be married or own your own home, but that is not the case. As long as your housing and income are stable and meet licensure standards, and there is room in your home and heart for more family members, you could potentially become a foster parent.
Families who are interested in opening their homes and offering a stable, nurturing environment for children should contact their local Children's Division office for more information.
For more detailed information about the process required to become a licensed foster parent in Missouri, please visit the Heart Gallery of Missouri.
How much does it cost to become a foster parent?
There is little to no cost involved in becoming a foster parent. The home assessment and training is provided by the state free of charge.
The first step toward becoming a foster parent in Missouri is completing our Specialized Training, Assessment, Resources, Support and Skills (STARS) program.