How to become a foster parent in Massachusetts:
Changing the odds for a child
There is probably no more important factor in a foster child’s life than the love and care of foster parents dedicated to the health and well-being of their foster child.
In Massachusetts, the state Department of Children and Families (DCF) is responsible for screening, training, and licensing foster parents, and arranging for placement of children with foster parents.
If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, you may call the DCF recruitment Line at 1-800-KIDS-508 or contact them through mass.gov/dcf. Your contact begins a process of information gathering by both parties. Prospective foster parents fill out an application, and they agree to background checks. They also agree that their home will meet physical standards established by state laws and regulations.
Once prospective foster parents are approved, they are invited to attend a pre-service training program that helps families understand the experiences that bring children into foster care. The license study that follows is a mutual assessment process to identify family strengths and what type of child would make the best fit with your family. During the process, a Family Resource Social Worker conducts home visits and interviews members of the family.
Once the training is complete and the interviewing is finished, the final decision will be made about licensing. The placement decision is made mutually. Foster parents are given what information is available about the child to help them make an informed decision.
Throughout the process, and throughout the placement, professional support and guidance are available to parents from a range of programs including MSPCC’s Kid’s Net Program.