How to Become a Foster Parent

At the Family Care Network we provide many opportunities for individuals and families to join our efforts to enhance the wellbeing of children and youth.  Our foster care programs are designed to not only meet the diverse needs of the children and youth we serve, but also to offer interested individuals the opportunity to choose a level of foster parenting that best meets their preference.

Foster Care programs include:

  • Emergency Shelter Care
  • Respite Care
  • Basic Therapeutic Foster Care
  • Short-term Specialty Foster Care Programs to promote stabilization and family reunification
  • Adoption Assistance

We invite you to consider serving as a foster parent in one of the above capacities.

Foster Parent qualifications include:

  • A desire to help foster children, especially youth with challenging circumstances.
  • A desire to contribute to a team effort.
  • Sensitivity to spiritual values, cultures and relationships.
  • A willingness to work with a wide range of behaviors, in a positive, constructive manner.
  • General good health with the ability to pass a medical review and TB test.
  • An existing income that adequately meets the needs of your existing household.
  • The ability to provide adult supervision for a child in your care.
  • A willingness to learn new skills, regularly participate in training and support groups.
  • A home that meets state health and safety licensing requirements.
  • No criminal record and free from drug and/or alcohol problems.
  • The ability to provide safe, reliable transportation, especially in emergencies.

Qualified Foster Parent Will Receive:

  • Tax exempt monetary compensation based on type of foster care provided.
  • Respite and 24/7 support from professional staff.
  • The most comprehensive Foster Parent Training offered in San Luis Obispo or Santa Barbara counties.

How to become a foster parent:

  • Request and complete an application and undergo screening process.
  • Complete 40-60 hours of initial training in the classroom and independent study through the Family Care Network, and be willing to participate in ongoing training courses.
  • Participate in a home inspection, home study and staff interviews.

Individualized Attention:

At the Family Care Network we provide individual guidance through the foster parent recruitment process. When a family expresses interest, a Family Care Network Foster Parent Development Specialist will come to their home and give them a detailed overview of every aspect of foster parenting and the certification process. Once the family submits an application, they will be guided through their certification step by step. After certification, a Foster Parent Development Specialist, along with agency social work staff, will be available to them 24/7 to make sure their foster parenting experience is fulfilling.

For more information or to make an appointment, please call us at

805.781.3535 for San Luis Obispo County

805.349.9600 for Santa Maria

805.349.9600 for Santa Barbara

Or email us at becomeafosterparent@fcni.org!