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. CP&P 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, your 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.
CP&P provides pre-service training so that you can help your child in care 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 children in care. Being a foster parent means working as a team with social workers, the court, teachers, doctors, therapists, and possibly even the birth family of the children in your care.
Steps to Becoming a Foster Parent
The first step is to create a profile in our online foster care portal Binti . There, you will complete a short pre-application questionnaire. This is just a preliminary step to help us get to know more about you and connect you with your local DCF Resource Family Recruiter. There is no commitment required at this stage.
Within 5 business days, your local recruiter will review your information and reach out to schedule you for an orientation session (called a Group Engagement). At the Group Engagement, you will learn more information about our agency, the children we serve, the process to becoming a licensed caregiver, and available supports.
You can also call 1-877 NJ FOSTER or email us at email@example.com if you need help with submitting an inquiry through binti or have other questions.