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mom and boyNew Hampshire needs to increase its pool of foster and adoptive families who are ready and able to care for children in need. We need families who can provide emergency care, short-term care and those looking to adopt from foster care. Most children entering foster care as a result of abuse and neglect in their home are able to successfully reunify with their family thanks to the hard work and commitment of their parents, their foster parents and the support from professionals.

By law you must have a Foster Care license in order to be a foster parent, or adopt from foster care.

RSA 170-E: 27 License Required: Prohibition Against Child Endangerment: “No person shall establish, maintain, operate, or conduct any agency for child care or for child-placing without a license or permit issued by the department under this subdivision. RSA 170-E: 25 Definitions II. "Child care agency" means any person, corporation, partnership, voluntary association or other organization either established for profit or otherwise, who regularly receives for care one or more children, unrelated to the operator of the agency, apart from the parents, in any facility as defined in this subdivision.”

Foster parents are asked to provide a safe, stable, temporary, and caring atmosphere for a child placed in their home. Foster parents become part of a team effort to support the child and implement the plans made for the child. This will involve working with biological parents, courts, DCYF, and other involved agencies.

Any New Hampshire resident, aged 21 or older can apply to be a licensed foster parent. Singles and/or couples must have the time and energy to give to a child, complete the application and approval process, meet the rules for foster care and attend an orientation and mandatory training.

Foster parents are licensed to care for unrelated children and must:

  • Complete an inquiry packet
  • Submit fingerprint-based Criminal Records and Central Registry Checks of child abusers for household members over 17 years of age
  • Provide medical clearance statements on all family members
  • Submit the names of five references
  • Provide local fire and health inspections of the home
  • Participate in at least two home visits with a social worker
  • Successfully complete Foster & Adoptive Care Essentials (FACES) training
  • Complete a home study with a DCYF Resource Worker

Foster Parents receive monthly board and care reimbursement when a child is placed in their home. These payments help pay for food, clothing, and other costs associated with caring for a child. The amount of the monthly payment varies depending on the age of the child and any identified special needs.

Fostering is both rewarding and challenging. Foster Parents can expect assistance and support from DCYF staff and other community agencies.

If you are interested in becoming a foster or adoptive parent you may now begin the process at our web portal. You’ll find information about foster care and adoption, frequently asked questions, and an opportunity to fill out some initial information, which is required for all foster and adoptive parents.

Of course, if you wish to contact the foster care unit first, or at any point along the way, you may still do so.

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New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
129 Pleasant Street | Concord, NH | 03301-3852

copyright 2016. State of New Hampshire