GOVERNMENTLicensingChild Foster Care Licensing   

Child Foster Care Licensing

Information to Consider 

Should I Do Foster Care?
Child Foster Care Licensing Information
Agreement Between Foster Parents and Placement Agency
Perspective on Foster Care and Adoption

The Licensing Process

Information Sessions: We will share information about our foster care program, the children in foster care, their families, the re-unification process, and St. Louis County’s expectations of foster families. Information sessions are scheduled several times each month.

Contact: Jessie Schunk 218-749-9793 or toll-free 800-450-9777 x7793 or

Here are some Child Foster Care Questions Jessie will ask when you call to inquire and/or register.

Application: Your decision to do foster care begins when you return your application. It takes between 90 and 120 days to be licensed from that point. Part of the application process is a thorough background check. You will need sign some release forms and be fingerprinted for your background checks.

Home Safety Inspection: A licensor will visit your home to begin licensing and determine if your home needs a state fire marshal inspection.

Home Study: A licensor will conduct a home study with you and your family to get to know you so they can determine what types of children would be a good fit in your home. This home study process generally takes about 6 hours and happens in a series of visits.

Training: St. Louis County requires about 30 hours of training in the first year of licensing. Some training needs to happen prior to getting children, the rest within the first year.

Recommendation for licensure: Following completion of the Home Study and the related licensing requirements a recommendation is made to the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS). The final decision is made by the DHS Division of Licensing. 

Minnesota Rules for Foster Family Settings - Minnesota Administrative Rules Chapter 2960 covers the Licensure and Certification of Programs for Children. Parts 2960.3000 to 2960.3100 establish the minimum standards that a foster family setting must meet to qualify for licensure. Parts 2960.3200 to  2960.3230 contain requirements for foster residence settings. Additional licensing requirements for foster family settings that offer treatment foster care are in parts 2960.3300 to 2960.3340.

Types of Foster Care

General Child Foster Care: Families who are willing to open their home to children who are unknown to them. Families may take one child, sibling groups, or children from multiple families. Placements generally last between 3- 9 months. When reunification is not possible, foster families can be an option for permanancy. 

Respite Foster Care: This program relieves birth parents and foster parents for a specific relief period, often one or two weekends a month.

Contact: Jessie Schunk 218-749-9793 or toll-free 800-450-9777 x7793 or