Preparing to be a Foster Family

Lunch With Luanne

Come have lunch with Luanne (CaRES’ Licensing Coordinator) and get your questions answered around the licensing process, the home inspection, and how to have fun fostering. For prospective foster parents and kinship caregivers. 

Drop in sessions will be offered every Tuesday
from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Click here to join the Zoom session.

Monthly schedule of topics:

Resource Library

Interest form

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.

Journey Toward Licensure

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.

Un camino hacia la licencia

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.

Training Requirements

To become a licensed foster parent, you must complete the training requirements listed on this page.

Become a Foster Parent

The Department of Children, Youth, and Families’ comprehensive collection of resources on becoming a licensed foster parent through DCYF.

Foster Parenting and Kinship Care Newsletter

News, information and updates from The Department of Children, Youth, and Families.

Caregiver Core Training (CCT)

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

Foster Parent & Kinship Caregiver FAQs

More helpful information on being a foster parent or Kinship Caregivers.

Stay Up-to-Date

Sign up to receive monthly schedules and highlights of upcoming trainings you might be interested in!

While You Wait

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.

Guide to Free and Discounts for Foster & Kinship Caregivers

Your best resource for community programs is your local CaRES Mentor. The Alliance CaRES program does not support or endorse any of the listed items; they are compiled for your convenience.

The Child Welfare Team

A guide to the different roles of people associated with a child welfare case.

Within the First 30 Days of Placement

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

Commonly Used Acronyms

A guide to help you understand commonly used acronyms in Children’s Services.

Foster Care Centers of Excellence

Centers of Excellence are recognized as multidisciplinary medical centers where youth in the child welfare system can receive coordinated healthcare services. Children and youth in foster care and adoption support can see high quality, trauma-informed primary care providers. These providers understand the needs of child welfare involved families.

Wellness Resource Wednesday

Dive into health topics with local experts to best support children in care. In partnership with UW Harborview and Coordinated Care, these sessions will offer opportunities to learn directly from expert doctors and connect with caregivers sharing your experiences. Training credit is not offered for viewing the recording. Current recorded sessions: ADHD, Asthma, & Nutrition, Sugar, and Diabetes.

LGBTQIA+ Resources

The CaRES program has a new site as a one stop for LGBTQIA+ resources. If you missed the CaRES kicking off PRIDE Month Celebration, listen to the recording to learn about different eras of PRIDE and hear stories and resources. Discover and sign up for one of our LGBTQIA+ support groups. Learn how to show support from day one with FREE PRIDE + CaRES items!

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 Placement Agency Contact Lists
What region am I in? DCYF Regional Map