You must be an adult.
Foster parents must be at least 18 years old. There is no upper age limit, as long as you are in reasonable health. The Division will not preclude a person from being a foster parent based solely on their culture, religion, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, affectional orientation, or marital/civil union or domestic partnership status.
You must provide a safe environment for a child.
Whether you own or rent, you home must meet basic life and safety standards. It doesn't matter if your home is an apartment or a house, as long as it is a safe place for children.
You will receive training.
DCP&P provides pre-service training so that you can help your foster child and work in partnership with other professionals. Ongoing training will help you be a successful foster parent.
Your entire household must be involved.
Everyone in a home participates in nurturing a child. All the members of your household must agree to the commitment of providing foster care for a child.
You can make a commitment to a child who needs help.
It's not always easy to be a foster parent. You must be willing to help a child through both good times and not-so-good times. You need to be counted on until the child returns to their family or a permanent home is found. This can take a few weeks or many months.
You can work as part of team.
Foster parents are the most important members of a team dedicated to the safety and well-being of foster children. Being a foster parent means working as a team with social workers, the court, teachers, doctors, therapists, and possibly even your foster child's birth family.
Steps to Becoming a Foster ParentCall 1-877 NJ FOSTER or email us HERE.
A representative of Foster and Adoptive Family Services (FAFS) will ask you a few questions about yourself, your family and your interest in fostering or adopting a child.
Read the information provided to you.
Foster and Adoptive Family Services will send you a packet of information about DCP&P, the children served and why foster parents are so important.
Come to an orientation.
Orientation is an opportunity to learn more about the specific issues related to foster parenting. Sessions are held throughout New Jersey and FAFS will sign you up to attend one at your convenience.
Complete a homestudy with a Resource Family Support Worker and attend Pre-service Training.
Staff will guide you through an assessment process to help you and DCP&P learn as much about each other as possible. The pre-service training is designed to prepare you to become a foster parent. DCP&P requires that you complete both the homestudy and the pre-service training so that you may become licensed as a resource parent.