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

Email Licensing and Kinship Coordinator Luanne Marshall at to schedule a Lunch with Luanne for personal support with kinship or general foster licensing.

Getting Licensed

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

(Not sure what region you’re in? DCYF Regional Map)

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 our “Journey Towards Licensure: Foster” checklist [English] handy to track your progress or reference as you’re moving forward! You can check things off in whichever order works for you.

Click here for “Un camino hacia la licencia” [Español]

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.

Instructional video to Registering for and Completing Caregiver Core Training Online. You can access a transcript in the right column of the page that will follow along with the video. If you still need help after watching the videos, please feel free to reach out to us at

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.

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.

The Alliance CaRES offices are closed Monday, September 4th, in observance of Labor Day. Thank you caregivers, social workers, and staff for all you do to care for families, youth, and children!