Behavioral Health


Become a Therapeutic Foster Parent

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Provide the care, support and structure children need to learn and grow.

We provide support for foster parents

As a therapeutic foster parent for Lutheran Social Service of MN you are not alone. We are committed to being highly responsive and supporting foster families to ensure a positive and healthy environment for your family and the children being served.

LSS Foster Parents have 24-hours-a-day access to LSS staff in case of emergencies. Additionally, most LSS foster homes are assigned therapeutic professionals or skills workers to work in the home with foster children and foster parents.

In the words of one of our foster families:
"LSS gives me all the help I need. Jonelle makes me feel like I am her only foster home. We talk about placements and how the children will fit in our family and with the foster children we currently have. We consider our foster children our family and I feel like LSS and Jonelle are a part of our family, too."

LSS understands the need for foster parents to have a break and re-energize so that they can provide the care foster children need. LSS staff work with foster parents to arrange necessary respite care for foster children in qualified homes.

Inquire about becoming a foster parent >

Making the Decision to Become a Foster Parent

Most people have many questions about what being a foster parent means and how to become a foster parent. The decision to become a foster parent should be considered carefully; it is not for everyone.

We encourage you to explore the information on this website, as well as to contact the foster care coordinator in your area to talk about any additional questions you may have that are not answered here.

Meet our foster care coordinators >

Foster parenting can be rewarding and challenging

Foster parents are generally nurturing and compassionate individuals or couples who are also patient and open to understanding the child in their care. Providers should have some flexibility with their schedules and space in their homes. Foster families develop an understanding of child development to support each child’s unique needs.

More information about the role of a foster parent >

Licensing requirements

To ensure the safety and well-being of the children, all treatment foster care homes must be licensed through the MN Department of Human Services (DHS). An LSS therapeutic foster care coordinator will work closely with you and guide you through the process.

More information regarding the licensing process and requirements >

Resources and Support

You will not be alone. We provide specialized training for new families tailored to their specific needs, and additional continuing education.

Learn more about support and training opportunities >

Children in treatment foster care

As a therapeutic foster home you may provide care for children of all ages with mental health challenges. This care may range from short-term respite care (under 72 hours) to long-term care (average length 9 months)

More information about children in foster care >

Respite care providers

As a respite care provider you may also provide short-term care for children of all ages when their family (biological, adoptive or foster) needs a break or has to be away for various reasons. People who want to help children in need, but may not be ready to commit to being a therapeutic foster home, may want to explore becoming licensed to provide respite care. If you’re interested in becoming a respite care provider, please contact an LSS Therapeutic Foster Care Coordinator.

LSS foster care coordinators >

Permanency through adoption

On occasion, children placed in foster care are not able to return to the care of their parents. When parental rights become terminated, the children become in need of a permanent family to adopt them. The foster care team working with the child in care will develop a plan for permanency for the child. If the foster parents wish to be considered as a permanent home for the children in their care, LSS Adoption Services is able to provide information, training and support to families to work with them through this journey.

More information about LSS Adoption Services >