Child Foster Care Licensing

What Is Foster Care & Why Is It Needed?

Foster care is 24-hour care provided to children who are unable to remain in their family home due to abuse, neglect, or other safety concerns that are contrary to their well-being. Children can be placed into foster care by law enforcement, court order, or voluntary agreement. Foster care and foster parents are to provide things that cannot be provided by the parent, such as:

  • Care
  • Education
  • Food
  • Lodging
  • Safety
  • Supervision
  • Training
  • Treatment

If a child has been placed out of the home due to disruptive behaviors or mental health concerns, the family will work on learning new methods to address those areas and maintain their relationship. When a child is placed into foster care the goal is to reunite the children with their family. A plan is designed with the family to create goals and tasks to work towards reunification. The parents are required to make changes to their lives to ensure the home to which the children return is safe.

Isanti County Family Services is required to search for relatives of children/youth in foster care in case the child/youth is unable to return home. Should a relative not be available to commit to raising the child/youth, foster families are asked to provide a permanent home for the child/youth, preferably adoption.

Foster Care Respite

Respite care is short-term care which gives parents a needed break from challenging behaviors of a child. It is not a separate foster care program. Respite care parents go through the same licensing process as other foster parents. Respite care is needed for children with developmental disabilities and for children with behavioral and or emotional problems.

Foster Care Licensing Requirements for Isanti County

  • You must live in Isanti County.
  • You need to be at least 21 years old, financially stable and responsible.
  • You can be single or a couple.
  • You must live in a home that meets fire-safety standards and have appropriate sleeping space.
  • A Fire Marshal inspection may be required.
  • Allow Isanti County to complete a background study check.
  • Participate in a home-study that includes interviews with household members.
  • Applicants must complete pre-licensing training.
  • Training must be completed annually once licensed.

Background Studies

Minnesota Statute 245C outlines the requirements for background studies in licensed programs. A background check must be completed on all applicants, caregivers, and household members age 13 and older. One may be required for household members age 10 to 12 when there is reasonable cause. 

Background studies are completed by the Department of Human Services using the NetStudy 2.0 system, which is a fingerprint based study. 

For Child Foster Care, there is no cost for the background study itself, however, there is a $9.10 fingerprint fee per adult. Minors are not required to be fingerprinted as their background study is completed based off their name and date of birth. Once a minor turns 18, they will then be required to complete a fingerprint based study.  

Background study forms and information on how to complete your fingerprints will be provided to you by Isanti County Family Services. 

Other Things You Should Know

  • Foster children may share a room with other children as long as they have a bed of their own.
  • Foster parents need to have a flexible schedule and reliable transportation. Foster parents are needed to transport children for visitation and appointments several times a week.
  • Payment for foster care varies. Payments are calculated based on the actions taken by foster parents to provide care to a child outside of their normal daily care needs.
  • Medical and dental costs are covered through Medical Assistance or other medical insurance, not the foster family.
  • Foster parents may have regular contact with parents and relatives of children/youth.