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Becoming a Foster Parent
Once again, the State of New Hampshire joins the country in celebrating November as Adoption Month. A Proclamation has been issued by Governor Maggie Hassan encouraging all citizens of our state to recognize the importance of finding permanency for every child. Celebrations are held statewide and locally to say "thanks" to those who open their hearts and homes to children and youth who need a permanent home. The State Department of Health and Human Services' Division for Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) sincerely appreciates all of the New Hampshire foster parents and relative care givers who adopt a child in their care and provide them with a lifetime of unconditional love and belonging.

mom and boyWhy must you have a Foster Care license to be a foster parent?

It is required by New Hampshire law. RSA 170-E: 27 License Required: Prohibition Against Child Endangerment: No person shall establish, maintain, operate, or conduct any agency for child care or for child-placing without a license or permit issued by the department under this subdivision. RSA 170-E: 25 Definitions II. "Child care agency" means any person, corporation, partnership, voluntary association or other organization either established for profit or otherwise, who regularly receives for care one or more children, unrelated to the operator of the agency, apart from the parents, in any facility as defined in this subdivision.

What is the role of a foster parent?

Foster parents are asked to provide a safe, stable, temporary, and caring atmosphere for a child placed in their home. Foster parents become part of a team effort to support the child and implement the plans made for the child. This will involve working with biological parents, courts, DCYF, and other involved agencies.

Who can become a foster parent?
Any New Hampshire resident, aged 21 or older can apply to be a licensed foster parent. Singles and/or couples must have the time and energy to give to a child, complete the application and approval process, meet the rules for foster care and attend an orientation and mandatory training.

Foster parents are licensed to care for unrelated children and must:

  • Complete a home study with a DCYF Resource Worker
  • Complete an autobiography
  • Submit fingerprint-based Criminal Records and Central Registry Checks of child abusers for household members over 17 years of age
  • Provide medical clearance statements on all family members
  • Submit the names of five references
  • Provide local fire and health inspections of the home
  • Participate in at least two home visits with a social worker
  • Successfully complete Foster & Adoptive Care Essentials (FACES) training

Foster Parents receive monthly board and care reimbursement when a child is placed in their home. These payments help pay for food, clothing, and other costs associated with caring for a child. The amount of the monthly payment varies depending on the age of the child and any identified special needs.

Fostering is both rewarding and challenging. Foster Parents can expect assistance and support from DCYF staff and other community agencies.

To learn more about foster parenting, contact the DCYF Foster Care Program or the New Hampshire Foster and Adoptive Parent Association.

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New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
129 Pleasant Street | Concord, NH | 03301-3852

copyright 2010. State of New Hampshire