Foster Care Services

Many Indiana children need a safe home and nurturing family. A foster parent is someone who provides a stable, supportive living environment for a child who cannot live with biological parents due to family disruption, abuse or neglect. Some children stay in foster care for weeks, some for years.

There is no “ideal” foster family. Foster parents help children heal and find stability while acting as role models for the biological family. Some foster homes become adoptive homes, and sometimes they help children achieve independent living. There are specific requirements for Indiana foster parents, but most important is the desire to love a child in need.

Why Children’s Bureau Foster Care?

• Our skilled professionals work side by side with foster families.
• We’re a local social service agency with a great community reputation.
• We specialize in serving children who have faced trauma and disruption.
• We’ve been around since before you were born! (And probably your grandparents, too.)

Steps to Becoming a Foster Parent

Step 1 - Orientation & Training

You'll receive the documentation to apply for a foster family license with explanations of each form and how to complete them. Pre-service Training - Twenty hours of training will introduce you to the child welfare system and give you the base knowledge to start caring for children who may have been abused, neglected or otherwise mistreated. Medical Training - First Aid, Adult/Child/ Infant CPR and Universal Precautions certification is required of all foster parents and is provided free of charge by Children's Bureau.

Step 2 - Application & Documentation

During this step, you'll complete your application paperwork and provide copies of needed items such as driver's licenses, insurance and proof of income. Once your application is completed and signed and each family member has had their doctor complete a health verification form, you'll return them to our office for processing

Step 3 - Background Checks & References

Upon receiving your documentation, we will start the necessary background checks and request responses from your references. The following checks will be completed: Local, State, National/ FBI, Sexual Offender Registry and Child Protective Services. We may also have to obtain background checks for previous counties or states where you have lived.

Step 4 - Foster Family Assessment

This final step is commonly known as the "Home Study." Your family will meet with an interviewer who will evaluate your preparedness to be a licensed foster family and will conduct an inspection of your home.

Step 5 - License Approval

The entire pre-service file and the foster family assessment is reviewed to ensure completeness. If the file is in order, the family is licensed and is ready to accept children into your family.

The Foster Care Experience

Children's Bureau provides many supports and services to our children and families.  Each family and individual child is assigned a Children's Bureau Foster Care Case Manager (FCCM) who will visit with the family on a regular basis to ensure that their needs are met. FCCMs provide support in person during home visits or via phone, text or email. Home visits are provided based on the needs of the child and family as assessed by the Department of Child Services and the child's treatment team. Upon placement of the child, the FCCM will be available right away and can visit with your family in your home within 48 hours.

We provide 24/7 crisis intervention service because we know concerns don't just arise during business hours.

Children's Bureau employs specialized therapists who are extensively trained to work with foster and adoptive children and families. Therapists are trained in attachment-focused therapy, trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, TheraPlay, individual and family counseling. Therapists work with the children, foster families, biological families, FCCMs and treatment teams to meet the individual needs of the child and family. Our counseling services empower children and families regardless of where they are on their journey. Psychiatric and medication management services are also offered.


  • Management of foster family licenses
  • Training provided at no cost to parents
  • 24/7 placement referral for placing agencies
  • Case management services to meet the individual needs of each child and family
  • In-home visitation by professional staff
  • Individual therapy (home-based or out-patient)
  • Client Centered practices
  • Supervised visitation
  • 24 hour Emergency on-call & crisis intervention
  • Staff caseloads maximized to address the individual service needs of the children/family
  • Competitive per diem rates
  • Paid respite offering up to 1 day each month (maximum accrual of 12 days annually).
  • Funding available to reimburse for structured summer camps or activities
  • Monetary assistance for holiday & birthday gifts
  • Mileage reimbursement for treatment related transportation and family visitation
  • Trauma-Informed Care training for foster families
  • Psychiatric assessment and medication management available in our office
  • Case representation at court & monthly reporting of progress to referral source
Requirements Checklist

To be licensed with Children's Bureau, a foster family must meet these minimum requirements:

  • The whole household will be impacted by fostering in some way; therefore, all members, including children, must agree to become a foster family.
  • Parents must be at least 25 years old to be licensed with Children's Bureau Inc. (21 years old to be licensed through your local County Office of Family & Children or some other private agencies.)
  • Must have stable income. Applicants cannot be on public assistance or subsidized housing.
  • May be single, married, non-married couple or divorced. (May not be "in the process" of a divorce or separated.)
  • Cannot have anyone in the home with any felony or some misdemeanor convictions.
  • Must have sufficient space (50 square feet for each child in a bedroom and personal storage space).
  • Each child must have his or her own bed (not a futon or pull-out couch), and a foster child cannot displace a biological child from his or her bed.
  • Children may not be assigned to a bedroom located in a basement.
  • Must have valid driver's license and reliable, insured transportation.

Give us a call to talk about the process. We'd be happy to answer any questions for you!

Foster to Adopt

Often children in foster care need a permanent, adoptive home. Children's Bureau specializes in special needs adoption, including teenagers, sibling groups, children with medical needs, and children with behavioral or emotional challenges. We offer additional training and 24-hour support throughout the adoptive process.

Click here to learn more about adoption services.


Annual Review Forms for Foster Parents

Application Renewal for Foster Parents

Medical Forms for Children in Placement

Training for Foster Parents

Other Forms