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Foster/Respite Care

On any given day, more than 1,000 kids in the Greater Cincinnati area live in foster care. They’ve been abused or neglected, or they can’t live with their biological families because of other circumstances.

Foster care is intended to be temporary while families work through the issues that led to their children entering foster care. Respite care is short-term care to allow foster parents a break, or the ability to take care of personal needs.

A foster parent is someone who takes care, temporarily, of a child who’s in the custody of the child welfare system. They do everything for a child that a parent would do, from taking them to doctor’s appointments, to their sporting events and helping them with their homework.

Foster parents have many different backgrounds and experiences.  You don’t have to be married, have raised your own children, stay at home or be wealthy. You do need to have a desire to help the children in your care learn and grow.

To become a Foster Parent:

You should select an agency in the community that provide foster care services. Once you have selected the agency you want to work with, here’s what to expect:

  • Classes: You’ll take 30-plus hours of classes on everything from effective discipline to policies and procedures. The agency you choose will help you complete this pre-service training.

  • Home study: You will be visited by a licensing specialist who will ask a lot of questions about your background. You’ll also have to have your home inspected by your local fire department, produce information about your financial situation and give your fingerprints for a background check. You will work with a licensing specialist to determine how many children, what ages and what types of developmental and/or behavioral challenges you are ready to parent

  • Once you have your official foster care license from the state, you’re ready to receive placement calls. When you receive a call, you can discuss the information about the child or children and accept or decline the placement.

A foster parent doesn't have to be perfect. He or she is:

  • Anyone who is at least 21;

  • Single, married, gay or straight;

  • Financially stable – able to demonstrate that you can cover your expenses;

  • Able to pass local, state and federal background checks and complete all of the required training classes and paperwork

  • A homeowner or renter – you just need to have space in your home and in your heart for these children.

For More Information:


In Cincinnati

In Northern Kentucky

  • Boone County

  • Kenton County

  • Campbell County

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