Become a Foster Parent

Become a

Foster Parent

Change a life forever

The year you give could make the difference in a young person’s life. A stable environment is all many teens need as a launch pad for success! Share your love, your guidance, and your home with a young person in need.

Raising a child who was not born to you is a rewarding way to change the course of a child’s life while you experience parenting in a unique and meaningful way. NCCF provides foster care for more than 400 children per year from Maryland and the District of Columbia. These children are in need of a safe, loving, temporary home due to abuse, neglect or exploitation. Foster parenting offers a supportive, stable relationship for children who cannot live with their birth parents until specific family issues are resolved. Foster parents are part of a team that works together to keep a child healthy and safe while supporting the birth family as they work towards their goals and reunification.

If you are age 21 or older with a steady income, have space in your home and love in your heart, foster parenting may be the perfect gift you can give that emboldens the hopes and dreams of a child in need of care.

3 Steps to Becoming a Foster Parent

Step 1

Complete the Interest Form – Interested in finding out more about becoming a foster parent? Click the link below to complete the Interest Form that will begin the process. When we receive your information, one of our recruiters will contact you to invite you to an upcoming orientation session.

Step 2

Attend an Orientation – Once we receive your interest form, you will be invited to attend one of our scheduled orientations for prospective foster parents. This will be an opportunity to ask questions and receive information about foster parenting and the licensing process.

Step 3

Schedule a Home Visit – After you’ve attended an orientation, one of our recruiters will contact you to schedule a home visit. If you are married, or have other adults living in the household, it is important that they be present if possible during the visit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can become a foster parent with NCCF ?

To qualify as a foster parent, an adult must be age 21 or older, a resident Maryland, and pass a criminal background check. The adult is required to have adequate living space for a child and be financially stable. Foster parents must have the ability, willingness and resources to protect and nurture children who have experienced trauma, meet children’s developmental needs, and support relationships with children and birth parents.

What is the average length of stay for a child in care ?

Foster care is not forever. Children and youth can and do return home to their families. No one can tell you exactly how long children will be in foster care. The length of time depends on the circumstances that brought the child in to the foster care system and the ultimate plan for the family.

What is Foster Care ?

The purpose of foster care is to provide a temporary safe, nurturing home for children who have been removed from their biological family’s home due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment.

What ages are the children ?

The purpose of foster care is to provide a temporary safe, nurturing home for children who have been removed from their biological family’s home due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment.

What if the biological family wants to visit or have the child visit ?

The primary goal of foster care is to provide a nurturing home environment until the child can be reunited with his or her natural family. An integral part of this is communication and interaction with the birth family. Social workers can provide guidance in this process and we have on-site space to help facilitate the process of visitation.

Do foster children have medical insurance ?

Yes, each child has coverage through Medicaid and or private insurance.

Do foster parents get paid ?

Foster parents are not technically paid to care for children. Foster parents receive a monthly reimbursement stipend that assists in covering the costs of caring for a child in your home. The monthly stipend is calculated by the number of days a child lives in your home.

What is the process of becoming a foster parent ?

Becoming a foster parent is a huge commitment of time that takes approximately 120 days and leads to foster home license. At the beginning, you will meet with a recruiter about your interest in fostering and attend an orientation. Once you have made a commitment for fostering, you will be required to attend an intensive six-week pre-service training program that consists of a hybrid model: weekly in person training sessions and online training modules. This training will provide the opportunity for both you and NCCF to assess your strengths and needs for support as a foster parent. This process will result in a mutual assessment of your willingness, ability and resources to protect and nurture children who have experienced trauma. If, based on the assessment, you are selected as match for fostering with NCCF, you will continue with the licensing process, which includes the completion of required documents, criminal background checks, medical examination, a home health and sanitation inspection, a fire inspection, and a home study. It is important to note that any member of your household over the age of 18 will be responsible for completing criminal background checks and medical clearances as well.

How does the home study process work ?

The goal of the home study is to assess whether prospective foster families have the ability to make a commitment to providing a nurturing home to foster children. A NCCF social worker will schedule 3 visits to meet with you in your home to conduct the home study. The social worker will interview you and all family members, including any children, to assess your parenting abilities, their attitudes toward foster care, and other social and personal characteristics. The social worker will also assess the safety of your home in compliance with licensing regulations and your ability to accommodate additional family members.

How soon will I get a child placed in my home once I am licensed ?

Once your home becomes licensed, the NCCF Placement Specialist will contact you when a child is in need of a home. This could happen with 24 hours and could take months. Placement in your home is dependent on when a child in care needs a home.

Where are Foster Parent Orientation and Pre-Service Trainings held ?

NCCF offers an orientation and pre-service training, at minimum, on a quarterly basis. The NCCF Foster Parent Recruiter can provide details on upcoming dates and times. Orientations and trainings are held at one of the following locations:

  • 6404 Ivy Ln. Greenbelt, MD
  • 6303 Ivy Ln. Greenbelt, MD
  • 6301 Greentree Rd. Bethesda, MD
  • 1438 Rhode Island Ave. NE Washington, DC

If your question is not here, please contact us.

Do you have a specific question that isn’t addressed in the FAQs? Our capable Foster Care Recruiting staff is eager and available to address your concerns.

Licensing Registration & Renewal

If you are looking to obtain or renew your foster care certification, please click the link below to access the necessary forms.

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