Behavioral Health


Foster Care Licensing Requirements and Process

Foster Care Requirements and ProcessJust as children in Therapeutic Foster Care are each unique, so are foster parents. Foster parents may be single or married, be employed in or out of the home, retired empty nesters, or families with or without children currently living in their household.

Foster Parent Eligibility Requirements

Foster parents are licensed through the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) and must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 21-years-old
  • Hold a valid driver’s license
  • Have home and auto insurance coverage
  • Complete a Minnesota home study assessment
  • Pass a state of Minnesota DHS background study

Foster Home Licensing Process

Minnesota requires foster parents to become licensed prior to placing a child in their home. Learn more about becoming a licensed foster parent and access information about becoming a licensed foster parent 

The process takes approximately 2-4 months to complete. During this time, an LSS Therapeutic Foster Care Coordinator will work closely with you and guide you through the process.

  1. Access foster care licensing resources
    Foster care information and application forms are available on the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) Foster Care website.
  2. Complete the Minnesota DHS licensing paperwork
    Minnesota has one application for child foster care licensing and adoption, but there are many other additional documents that are required to be completed as a part of the licensing process.

  3. Successfully complete the background study
    A background study is required for everyone in the home 13 years of age and older to ensure the safety of foster children.

  4. Successfully complete a home study
    The home study process involves a home inspection, as well as interviews with the prospective foster parent(s) and family members. The social worker will use this information to assess the potential of the applicants to provide a healthy environment for a child.

  5. Be issued a foster care license by the state
    The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) will issue your license once advised by Lutheran Social Service of MN (LSS) that you have successfully completed the licensing process.

  6. Participate in training
    Prospective foster parents receive more than thirty hours of pre-placement training during the licensing process. Specialized training is provided by Lutheran Social Service of MN at no cost. 

Once you have been licensed and received the required training, you will be able to receive placements and welcome a child into your home.

Learn more about becoming a foster parent >