Personal and Family Information
The licensing process is an assessment on you, your family and your home. Prospective Foster Families must be upfront and honest about themselves. You must be willing to share personal information about you and your family.
Information to be shared during Licensing Process
Chronic health issues
Limited sight or hearing
Mental health issues
Poor relationships with adult children
Abuse suffered as a child
Lack of transportation
Other adults living in the home, on the property or frequent visitors
Prospective Foster Families must be physically and mentally capable of caring for children
Foster Families must have their physician complete a Health Certificate
Mental Health and Counseling
If you are on anti-depressants, anti-anxiety or other psychotropic medications, you will be asked to have your physician to complete a Health Certificate.
If you are in counseling or have been in counseling in the past, your therapist will need to provide a recommendation to our agency.
We may request an evaluation by a Psychologist, LMHC or LCSW if we see other concerns. You will be responsible to the cost of the evaluation.
Criminal and Child Abuse Background
Some crimes may disqualify a person from being a Foster Family. Violent crimes, drug related crimes and felony thefts are disqualifying offenses
A DUI in the past five years is also a disqualifying offense
If you are on probation for any crime, you cannot be licensed
A history of child abuse allegations is usually a disqualifier.
An extensive driving record may disqualify you
Home must be inspected and approved by Our Kids’s Licensing Department.
For Licensed Care, children 12 months and younger can sleep in the Foster Family’s room in a crib. Before they turn 12 months there must be a transition plan to move them from the room as they can no longer remain in the room with the Foster Family unless a note is provided deeming it medically necessary.
A bed must be present for every child in your home.
Children age 3 and older cannot share a room with children of different genders unless it is siblings and only for a short time with a transition plan.
You must have a crib without drop sides set up in order to be eligible to be licensed for infants.
Children cannot share a room with a person over the age of 18. (if they are less than 1 year old they can sleep in a crib in the master bedroom).
The home must have a first aid kit.
Any medications (both over the counter and prescription) must be locked behind a key, magnetic or combination lock.
All chemicals (anything that says “keep out of reach of children”) must be locked behind a key or combination lock.
Thermometers must be located in the refrigerator and freezer.
The fire arms safety policy must be signed and agreed to.
All alcoholic beverages must be kept in a locked area.
Licensing staff will take photos of all household members and every room in the home to store on file.
A health inspection will be completed on the home by the assigned licensing specialist, which includes a water sample that must be tested by the County Health Department.
Hot water heater must be set to 120F or less.
Homes must be free of tobacco smoke.
Each foster child must be provided with personal space to store their belongings.
All pets must have up-to-date shot records (rabies shots for cats and dogs, whatever vaccinations are legally required for other pets).
If the dog is large and of a typically dangerous breed there must be a way to secure it away from children.
Home must have a safe outdoor area or one within reasonable walking distance.
Transportation and access to telephone must be immediately available for use in emergencies.
Home must have access to schools, churches, medical care, recreation and community facilities.
The home must be tested for Radon (Alachua, Union, Gilchrist and Suwannee Counties only).
The home must have working smoke alarms near the bedrooms.
All combustibles must be stored away from sources of heat.
Home must not be heated by unvented gas heaters.
Evacuation route must be posted in visible location (copy of floor plan with routes marked) on each floor of the home.
Hold fire drill twice a year and when a new child is placed in the home.
All fireplaces, space heaters and hot surfaces must be shielded against accidental contact.
Must have two means of egress from every sleeping area.
Bedrooms on second floor must have either a window or door with an evacuation ladder.
Home is equipped with working smoke detectors in all bedrooms.
A tagged fire extinguisher (2A10BC or larger) must be located in kitchen and on second floor.
All vehicles used to transport children must be equipped with seat belts.
All children ages five and under must be in an approved car seat.
All vehicles used by foster parents must have valid auto insurance.
All foster parents who drive must have a valid driver’s license.
Vehicles used to transport foster children must be free of tobacco smoke.
Any pool must be surrounded by a four foot tall barrier that is locked at all access points (your backyard can be fenced in).
All access through barrier has two of the following features: alarm, key lock, self locking doors, bolt that is inaccessible to children.
When swimming pool is not in use all entry points must be locked.
Steps or ladders leading to above ground pool must be secured, locked or removed when not in use.
Hot tubs will be required to have a safety cover that is locked when not in use.
Swimming pools will be equipped with a either a ring buoy, rescue tube or other appropriate flotation device with a rope attached.
Foster Families who have a pool or whose home is adjacent to a body of water unprotected by a four foot barrier will complete a basic water safety course (homepoolesstentials.org).
Foster Families must directly supervise all children who are using the swimming pool, spa or hot tub, or are in the pool area.
Foster Families must place life jackets on all foster children who are not proficient swimmers.