Becoming a Caregiver

We're here to help you get started

As a prospective foster parent, you’re just exploring the community. You are considering, evaluating and learning. You’re looking for information as you make a big decision, and we’re here to help.

Are you interested in learning more about becoming a foster parent, or becoming licensed? Fill out this form to get started.

Family of two parents and two children

Specialized Support

You can chose to work with State Licensing or a Child Placing Agency. There is no right or wrong path. All paths lead to the same place – caring for children and youth experiencing foster care. Consider all options and the best fit for your family.

State Licensing

Work directly with the local Licensing Division
Foster families make placement decisions independently
Foster parents work directly with DCYF staff
Self-advocate for specific needs, services, and resources

Child Placing Agency

Work directly with a local private agency
CPA and caregiver coordinate placement decisions
CPA provides advocacy for family and child needs, services, and resources
Services provided or coordinated by agency
Families receive individualized support and case management from the CPA

Child Placing Agency Contacts

Resource Library

The Department of Children, Youth, and Families’ comprehensive collection of resources on becoming a licensed foster parent through DCYF.
The Department of Children, Youth, and Families answers some questions you didn’t know you had with their Becoming a Foster Parent FAQ

If you haven’t already, sign up with the Department of Children, Youth, and Families to be contacted to learn more about foster care, kinship care or adoption.

Becoming a licensed foster parent can feel overwhelming. Just take it one step at a time. Keep this checklist handy to track your progress or reference as you’re moving forward! You can check things off in whichever order works for you.

Caregiver Core Training is the mandatory training for Washington State’s caregivers to become licensed.  CCT can be taken two ways – Online or in the classroom.

Si decide querer seguir adelante, puede echar un vistazo a la lista de verificación adjunta “Un camino hacia la licencia“. Esta lista resalta los pasos del proceso para que pueda hacer un seguimiento su progreso fácilmente.

While you wait for your license or first placement to arrive, this facilitated discussion will help you consider some of the needs in the fostering community and how you are suited to meet them. Find out more about the Supportive Facilitated Discussion Group: While You Wait.

Commonly Used Acronyms A guide to help you understand commonly used acronyms in Children’s Services.
The Child Welfare Team A guide to the different roles of people associated with a child welfare case.

This handout provides lots of information on how to make the 30 days after placement a smooth transition.