Child Foster Care

What is Child Foster Care and Why is it Needed?

Foster care is a safe place for a child to be if the child cannot live with his/her family because of health or safety issues in the home. Children often enter foster care because of neglect, abuse, conditions of the home, or family crisis. While children are out of their home, foster parents help provide them with a safe, nurturing, and stable home.

Foster care is meant to be temporary; the goal is always reunification of the child with their family. While the child is out of the home, Social Services works to provide services to the parents so the child can return home.

Unfortunately, it is not always possible for a child to return home and is in need of a permanent home. Relatives and other persons important to the child are contacted to see if they are able to provide a permanent home for the child. While it is always preferred that a child finds a permanent home with relatives, sometimes that is not possible and licensed foster families are asked to provide permanent care or to adopt the child. 

Child foster care homes are licensed by the Department of Human Services, and the agency is represented by the licensing worker from Big Stone County Family Services. The licensing process can be expected to take anywhere from three to six months, depending on the situation.

 For additional information on the licensing process, click HERE.

 Temporary Out-of-Home Care for Children   Rule 2960.3000-.3230 - the Child Foster Care rules
 Will You Care for the Children?  Statute 245A  - Human Service Licensing requirements
 Paths to Permanency   Statute 245C - Background Study requirements 
 Northstar Care for Children   MN Fire Code - Fire Code requirements for foster care
Adoption & Concurrent Permanency Planning:  
Working together to help families  

Licensing Requirements

The first, and possibly the most important requirement for child foster care, is that you love children. If you meet this requirement, review the list below to see if you meet requirements:
  • live in Big Stone County
  • be at least 21-years-old, financially stable, and responsible
  • have appropriate sleeping space:
    • There must be enough bedrooms for everyone in the home
    • Foster children can share a bedroom with a sibling or a child of the same sex, depending on the ages of the children
    • Foster children cannot share a bedroom with an adult or a child of the opposite sex
  • everyone age 13 years and older residing in the home is able to pass a background study
  • live in a home or apartment that meets fire safety code requirements when an fire marshal inspection is required
  • abide by a “No Corporal Punishment” rule
  • be available to transport children to visitations and medical appointments
  • participate in a home study that includes interviews with all household members
  • complete pre-license training and complete on-going training (12 training hours annually for each foster parent

Things to Consider:

  • You should be one year from a major life change such as a marriage, divorce, birth of a first child, or a significant loss, and two years from successfully completing chemical dependency treatment

  • It is not necessary to have children of your own, but it is best to have some experience with children

  • Foster parenting is not a job, so you need to have enough income to meet your own household needs

  • If you work, daycare may be an issue and should be discussed with your licensor

  • Reliable transportation is a must; as foster parents you will at times need to transport children to appointments, sometimes several times a week

To Apply

To begin the licensing process, please contact Big Stone County Family Services at (320) 839-2555.

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