Adult Foster Care Licensing


Adult foster homes are typically family-sized homes that care for up to four qualifying adults.  Qualifying adults are those who need help with everyday personal care due to mental illness, physical disability, developmental delay, or aging.  Those who qualify for foster care do not need institutional care but are capable of living in the community.  The home can be operated by a family or an individual.  It may also be operated by a corporation, governmental unit, or business partnership.  The home provides 24 hour care, meals, support, supervision, household services, and help with personal cares, medication management, money management, and living skills as needed.  

As an adult foster care provider, it is your responsibility to provide a home-like setting along with caring for and supporting the individuals and providing companionship.  You are providing an opportunity for individuals to be as independent as their disability or age allows for as long as possible while remaining in the community.  Foster families may request a certain gender, age, disability, and anticipated duration of placement.  What is most important is that the family is able to provide a safe, nurturing environment and be able to work with the individuals support staff and family, as well as the individual in their care. 


- Traditional Foster Care
  The foster care provider lives in the residence and is the primary caregiver to clients in the home 

- Corporate Foster Care
  The foster care home is operated by a corporation with employees delivering services to the clients


To become licensed as an Adult Foster Care provider, the applicant must meet these minimum licensing standards: 

  •  Live in Big Stone County
  • The home or rental where care will be provided meets the Fire Safety Code
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Pass criminal background checks for all household members who are 13 years of age or older (and anyone who may have direct unsupervised contact with clients)
  • Provide a physicians' statement that they are physically able to care for vulnerable adult(s) placed in the home (includes anyone who may provide care)
  • Provide three references that are positive
  • Have bedrooms available that meet the minimum square footage requirements
  • Complete the licensing process
  • Meet required training hours annually 


  • Adults age 18 or older, who agree to placement in an adult foster care home
  • Adults who do not require hospitalization or care in another type of medical or psychiatric facility
  • An adult has been recommended for placement by a social worker or public health nurse through an assessment process
  • An adult who does not display suicidal or homicidal tendencies, or exhibit violent or aggressive behavior that cannot be managed in a foster care setting
  • Has a source of payment for care. This may be private or public funding such as a waiver 

The adults who benefit most from foster care are those who need help with everyday personal care due to a developmental delay, mental illness, physical disability or aging.

For a quick glance at the licensing process, please click here.

For information on licensing requirements please contact:

Big Stone County Family Services 
340 NW 2nd St.
P.O. Box 338
Ortonville, MN 56278
Phone: (320)839-2555