Child Foster Care

Foster care is an opportunity for you to make a difference in a child’s life.

Foster care is temporary. Children usually continue to visit their own families until they can be reunited. If children can’t return home, foster parents may have the option to adopt. Foster parents are often asked to care for children who have challenging behaviors and require a lot of time and supervision. For more information, call 651-385-3200.

Licensing Requirements

You can be single or a couple. It is not necessary to have children of your own, but it is important to have experience with children. You can live in a house or apartment. Foster children may share a room with other children as long as they have a bed of their own. If you work, you need to have flexible hours to transport children to appointments. You also need to be home and available when the children are home.

Licensing Timeline

Foster Care Application Assessment Tool

  1. Complete the Foster Care Application Assessment Tool. Bring it with you to orientation.
  2. Attend an orientation meeting. Applications will be available at orientation. In 2-parent households, it is required both parents attend the orientation.
  3. After receiving your application, Goodhue County Social Services will initiate background checks and request 3 references from individuals not related to you.
  4. Complete pre-service training.
  5. Complete a home study.

If you live in Goodhue County and have questions about becoming a foster parent, please call 651-385-3200 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Orientation & Training

Goodhue County Social Services requires anyone interested in becoming a foster parent to attend an orientation session. Orientation will provide you with an overview of the foster care program along with information on the licensing and placement procedures. Application packets are available at orientation. Orientation will be provided on at least a quarterly basis throughout the year.

Topics Covered

Orientation will provide you with an overview of the foster care program, including how kids come into foster care. The licensing requirements and process of becoming a foster parent will be covered in this training. Additional information will be provided for ongoing training. Please bring the assessment tool to the orientation.

Orientation will be held at Goodhue County Social Services located at:
426 W. Ave.
Red Wing, MN 55066

Pre-Registration Required

Please call the foster care licensor at 651-385-3200 to register for an orientation class. Orientation will be held at Goodhue County Health and Human Services.


The Minnesota Department of Human Services requires that prior to licensure, an applicant obtains pre-service training. Once you are licensed, each adult caregiver in the household must complete 12 hours of training annually.

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