Foster Parent Licensing

What do I need to do to prepare my home for foster children?
  • Must have a thermometer in both the refrigerator and freezer.
  • Must have a first aid kit available.
  • Home and yard must be free from clutter
  • All walkways and exits inside the home must be clear
  • Home must be free of exposed wires.
  • All medication, poisonous and hazardous materials/chemicals and cleaning supplies must be secured (locked) in a closet, container or cabinet, which is inaccessible to children (locked area must not be laundry room or bathroom).
  • Combustible items must be stored away from any heat source and it is recommended that they be stored in a locked location.
  • Water quality will be tested for all homes with wells.
  • All doors with locks must open from the inside.
  • All swimming pools must have a child safety fence or the side of an above ground pool that is at least 4 feet in height.
  • All access points to the pool must be locked when the pool is not in use.
  • Hot tubs must be secured with locked cover.
  • Alcoholic beverages must be inaccessible to children. It is recommended to families who prefer older children that alcohol be stored in a locked location.
  • Weapons, such as guns or a bow and arrows, must be locked and inaccessible to children.
  • A fire extinguisher (size 2A10BC) must be kept in or adjacent to the kitchen. If the home has a 2nd story, another fire extinguisher must be kept on the 2nd floor. All fire extinguishers must be inspected and tagged annually.
  • If the home has a 2nd story, another means of escape, such as a safety ladder, is needed.
  • Smoke detectors must be present in all sleeping areas (this does not mean in each bedroom).
  • Fire drills must be conducted at least every 6 months and every time a new child is placed in the home.
    Heating sources, fireplaces and any other hot surface will need a protective barrier in place to prevent accidental contact.
  • Burglar bars on windows must be easily collapsible.
  • There must be a window or door in each bedroom, in addition to the exit/entry door.
Is there a limit to the number of children in my home?

Yes, there can be no more than five (5) children under the age of 18 years old in the home, including your birth or adopted children. In an effort to keep large sibling groups together, the State of Florida does allow for exception to this rule.

What does licensed mean?

It means you have completed your Pride classes, concluded and passed your home study and you have been cleared to be a Foster Parent

Are there different types of Foster Home Licenses?
  • Standard Foster Home, requiring a minimum of 21 hours of PRIDE Training
  • Medical Foster Home, requiring an additional 40 hours of Medical Foster Care Training and becoming a Medicaid provider
  • Therapeutic Foster Home, requiring an additional 40 hours of Therapeutic Training and licensing by of one of our many Therapeutic Service Providers.
What is therapeutic foster care?

Therapeutic foster care is model of care that combines positive aspects of nurturing and family environment with active and structured therapeutic treatment. Children in therapeutic care are typically 12 years or older, have had multiple placements, and may be coming from a more restrictive setting such as a group home or residential facility. These children receive more support services and need a more therapeutic and nurturing environment to heal from loss, abuse, and neglect.

What is the difference between a traditional or standard Foster Home and a Therapeutic Foster Home?

Traditional Foster Homes serve a different set of children who generally have fewer emotional or behavioral needs, who need a lower level of case management and therapeutic support. Both kinds of Foster Homes provide nurturing, safe and custodial care for children who require placement outside of their family. Therapeutic Foster Homes have active and structured therapeutic supports and services that occur in the home.

What is a Medical Foster Home?

The Medical Foster Care Program is designed to get foster children out of hospitals by placing them with specially trained Foster Parents in the community. A Medical Foster Parent is any licensed Foster Parent who is willing to take a Medical Foster Parenting class and able to learn how to care for a child with medical needs. A forty (40) hour Medical Foster Parenting training course is required. This course helps our Medical Foster Parents understand and learn how to attend to the needs of medically complex children and their families.

What is the difference between a traditional or standard Foster Home and a Medical Foster Home?

The goals of the Medical Foster Care Program are the same as those for regular foster care:

  • To provide a safe and nurturing temporary placement
  • To help establish reunification with either the birth family or a permanent placement adoptive family.

To achieve this goal, Medical Foster Parents participate in teaching the biological or adoptive family to care for the medically involved child. While in the Medical Foster home, children receive care in an effort to improve their medical condition. Medical Foster Homes also minimize multiple hospitalizations and help prevent these children from being forced to live in institutions.

Our Community Taking Care of Our Kids