For information describing the steps to becoming a foster parent, please view Fall in Love with Foster Care and Adoption, contact your local Department for Community Based Services office or call (800) 232-KIDS (5437). You will be sent a packet of information that describes the requirements for being approved as a foster parent. To view a list of upcoming informational meetings near you visit: July-December Informational Meetings                          

No, you can be married, single, divorced, widowed or living with a partner. However, if you are presenting as a couple, both must go through the approval process.

No, you can rent. But you must have adequate space available and your landlord's approval to care for foster children.

Yes. Extra help for the cost of day care may be available.

You should read through the information in the packet, then attend an information meeting designed to answer any questions you may have about foster care or adoption. Please call your local Department for Community Based Services office at the number provided in your packet or (800) 232-KIDS (5437) for times and dates of information meeting.

Persons from all racial/ethnic/cultural and religious backgrounds, renters and homeowners, single, married, divorced or living with a partner, persons who identify as LGBTQ+, persons with any education level, all are welcome to apply!
  • Applicants must be at least 21 years old.
  • Foster/Adoptive parents can be married, single or living with a partner.
  • Foster/Adoptive families should be financially stable and have an income sufficient to meet the family's needs.
  • Applicants must be able to provide a safe, secure and healthy home for a child.
  • Foster/Adoptive parents must be in good physical and mental health.
  • All adults in the home must complete criminal background checks including FBI, sex offender registry and a check of the child abuse registry.
  • All applicants must complete training to help them understand the needs of children in foster care.

To meet the needs of children placed in their home, foster parents receive:

  • Financial assistance in the form of a daily rate
  • Medical coverage for the children
  • Daycare assistance for working parents
  • Other assistance provided to meet the specialized needs of children on a case by case basis

  • Basic foster homes
  • Medically Complex Homes - for children with medical challenges
  • Specialized Medically Complex Homes - for children with medical and emotional challenges
  • Degreed Medically Complex Homes - for children with medical challenges in which the primary caretaker is a health care professional.
  • Care Plus Foster Home - for children who have emotional or behavioral challenges.

The law defines respite care as "temporary care provided by another family or individual to provide relief to a foster or adoptive parent with the expectation of the child's return to the current foster or adoptive home".

The Department for Community Based Services provides training that meets the needs of foster parents. Foster parents are required to receive a minimum of fifteen hours approved curriculum training and fifteen hours of pre-service web-based training to becoming a foster parent. Approved foster and adoptive families must complete a minimum of ten hours of ongoing training each year.

Yes. We want to ensure that the needs of the children placed in the home are compatible with the strengths of the foster parents.

Applicants will be expected to have an income sufficient to meet their present family needs and to insure the stability of the family unit.

A child may be placed with a relative when it is in the best interest of the child. To be eligible for the assistance provided to foster parents, a relative foster home must meet the same requirements for training and ongoing approval as nonrelative homes. The majority of children who are placed with relatives do so outside of the foster care system, and the family does not need to become approved to foster or adopt.

Maybe. Foster care is temporary care with the goal of reuniting the child with his or her birth family. Three out of four foster children do go home and it is important for foster parents to help the child successfully reunite with his or her birth parents while helping the child during such a tumultuous time. In the event that the child's goal changes to adoption, the foster family may apply to adopt. Many adoptions in Kentucky are foster parent adoptions. In selecting adoptive families, the best interest of the child is always of the utmost importance. Therefore, many factors have to be considered. For example, does the child need to be adopted with his or her siblings who may be in other foster homes? Your R&C worker can help you in deciding whether to explore this option.

All known relevant information about the child's educational, medical or developmental history is provided to the foster parent.

This is not a problem unless the child is allergic or scared.

Actually, there's no typical model. Some of our foster families are single-parent families. Some have kids in their home while others don't. Some older foster parents have already raised their own family, but want to open their hearts and homes to more kids. Some are homeowners, and some are renters. Our parents come from all racial, ethnic, religious backgrounds and sexual orientations.

A child's placement may be for as short as an overnight stay or longer than a year.

A foster child's return home is usually the ultimate goal. The foster parent will have the opportunity to participate in the planning and to say goodbye to the foster child. This can be a difficult time, but the child's return home represents a success. Returning home is the goal for most children in foster care. You will play an integral role in helping the child and family successfully transition.

The kinship support hotline is staffed by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) to support the needs of relative and fictive kin caregivers and to provide an outlet for kinship caregivers to address issues, locate resources, and ask questions. Call (877) 565-5608 Monday-Friday from 8:00 am-4:30 pm or email relative.supports@ky.gov

Relatives and fictive kin caregivers are referred to a variety of supportive services to address their specific needs, including child care assistance, “Child Only” Kentucky Transitional Assistance Program (KTAP), Relative Placements Support Benefit (RPSB), medical insurance (KCHIP), and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (Food Stamps).       

To be treated with respect; to be heard and to help make decisions for the child; to be informed about the child’s physical and mental health; to know about the child’s school progress and participate in decisions concerning their educational needs; and to file a service appeal if you are not satisfied with your case plan or visitation.

Formal caregiving is when a judge places a child in the state child welfare agency’s legal custody, and the state child welfare agency places the child with an approved relative or fictive kin caregiver.

Informal caregiving refers to arrangements made by the child’s parent or guardian and relatives or fictive kin caregivers without the involvement of the court or state child welfare agency.

D.O.v. Glisson Court Ruling

An October 2017 federal court ruling by the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in the case D.O. v. Glisson requires that Kentucky must pay relatives who serve as foster parents in the same manner it pays adults who are licensed as foster parents and are paid a daily rate. The ruling also includes fictive kin (close family friends) who provide foster care for children removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect. Payment amounts vary depending on a child’s needs but will average about $750 a month per child.

You can apply for D.O. vs. Glisson by calling the kinship support hotline at (877) 565-5608 or emailing at relative.supports@ky.gov. The relative/fictive kin caregiver will be asked basic information, and the inquiry will be assigned to a specialist for case review. You will receive notice of the eligibility determination within 30 to 45 days.

The relative/fictive kin caregiver will receive a packet via mail or email with additional instructions on how to complete the packet and where to send the packet. Caregivers may contact the kinship support hotline to request assistance with completing the packet.

The relative/fictive kin caregivers who are not eligible to receive the payments will receive a letter via mail or email stating they are not eligible and why. If relative/fictive kin caregivers disagree with the cabinet’s determination, they will need to provide documentation requesting a reconsideration.

The relative/fictive kin caregiver may be eligible to receive “Child Only” Kentucky Transitional Assistance Program (KTAP), child care assistance, Relative Placement Support Benefit (RPSB), medical insurance (KCHIP), or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (Food Stamps). The relative/fictive kin caregiver can contact the Division of Family Support by calling (855) 306-8959 or apply online at https://kyhbe.ky.gov/.

Foster Care

Yes, relatives and fictive kin caregivers may apply to become a foster or adoptive home while the child is in the custody of the cabinet and in your care.

Foster parents must be 21 years old. The Cabinet for Health and Family Services maintains custody of the child while relative/fictive kin caregiver pursues foster/adoption certification. Caregivers must complete the Pediatric Abusive Head Trauma (PAHT) training that is a one-time requirement and may be viewed by relative/fictive kin caregiver on the cabinet’s YouTube site.

Yes, but the parental rights must be terminated prior to proceeding with adoption.

Yes, there are other foster parents you can contact for support as well as respite or other supports.