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The Journey of a Lifetime: Applying to be a Foster Parent

foster care parentThere are some decisions that shape the course of our lives – choices that impact our daily routines and the legacy we leave behind in profound ways. Choosing to become a foster parent is one of those decisions and should not be taken lightly. But with the right support, it can be a decision that can have a meaningful and positive effect on your life – and on the child you welcome into your family.

For couples and individuals who are considering becoming foster parents, it is important to understand that it is not a journey you’ll take alone. Devereux is committed to guiding potential and existing foster parents at every step in the process to ensure they have the support and resources they need to be a positive force in the life of a child.

For those who feel they may be a good fit to be a foster parent – and provide care and guidance for a child in their time of greatest need – the first step is knowing how to begin the process and what to expect along the way.

Key Steps in Becoming a Foster Parent

Before completing an application or taking concrete action, the first step to becoming a successful foster parent is making the personal commitment and deciding, “I want to become a foster parent.” While becoming a foster parent can be a rewarding and transformational journey, it’s not for everyone. After countless partnerships, Devereux has developed a comprehensive set of standards and policies to successfully vet and select foster parents to ensure a good fit. Here are a few of the qualifications Devereux foster parents are required to meet:

  • Be 21+ years of age
  • Be a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S.
  • Obtain/pass a fingerprint clearance and a criminal background check (criminal and child abuse) for all household members over the age of 18
  • Demonstrate the ability to meet financial expenses without a reliance on foster care reimbursement
  • Have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance
  • Complete a Home Study process
  • Pass a safety inspection of the residence
  • Own an operable vehicle with a valid registration and insurance, or assure dependable transportation needs
  • Have marriage or divorce certificate or documentation, if applicable
  • Show proof of a physical healthcare examination
  • Complete pre-service foster parent training
  • Provide personal references

Once you’ve made the commitment to becoming a foster parent, the next step is to seek out opportunities with an organization like Devereux and begin a foster parent application. While each state and Devereux center has its own specific regulations and guidelines, Devereux has a dedicated process for vetting and selecting foster parents and best positioning everyone involved for long-term success.

A Focus on Financial and Emotional Support

Foster parents who successfully complete the application to become a foster parent can count on a broad network of support and resources to ensure they are best equipped to help transform a child’s life. Devereux works to ensure new and long-time foster parents have the emotional support and guidance they need to continue to provide exceptional and compassionate care, along with the financial tools needed to provide for their growing families as new needs arise.

Like raising any child, being a foster parents can have its ups and downs – finding the strength and commitment to stay engaged and compassionate requires ongoing support. Devereux foster parents and providers receive that support from a variety of resources to help prevent and reduce stress and family crisis, including*:

  • Free training and support groups, where parents can hone the skills needed to more effectively parent and mentor foster children and share their stories with those who have shared experiences
  • Frequent consultations with knowledgeable Devereux staff who have a background and deep experience in working with individuals with emotional, behavioral and cognitive differences
  • Comprehensive mental health services with support from the state
  • Paid respite care and financial assistance to help with the individual’s food, clothing and personal allowance

Begin the Journey Today

Applying to be a foster parent is one of the most meaningful steps a person can take in their lives. It’s a commitment that requires sacrifice, while creating space for unparalleled joy, gratitude and a more fulfilling life. If you’re ready to take that first step, learn more about foster care and the foster parent application process and apply to become a foster parent today.

*Note: This service may not be available in all Devereux centers.


At Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health, it is our policy to practice nondiscrimination in services. All activities with regard to referrals, admissions, placement of individuals and provision of services are conducted without regard to race, color, religious creed, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health is proud to recruit, train and support LGBTQ foster parents, some of whom later become adoptive parents.

“It’s a warm fuzzy feeling when you see that a child has security. When a child knows that you’re going to keep them safe. They know that you’re going to be there for them and they know that they can count on you. That’s an awesome feeling.” -Devereux parent