N.D.-(LuWanna Lawrence) – Opening a person’s heart and home as a
licensed foster parent does not always require providing 24-hour care
and supervision on a daily basis. Short-term alternative options are
available that offer foster families flexibility and the ability to
still provide a safe, nurturing, and loving home for children and
youth in need.
people may be hesitant about becoming a foster parent because they
think foster parenting is a full-time commitment in addition to their
already busy schedules,” said Dean Sturn, foster care administrator
for the North Dakota Department of Human Services. “In reality,
people can work with their licensing agency to determine how often
they can provide care and they may specify the age group that best
matches their household’s strengths.”
care option available to foster parents is providing emergency or
shelter care on an on-call basis as their schedule allows. Another
option is to only help care for current foster children whose primary
foster parents may be taking a vacation or traveling for work.
Sturn said all
foster parents are required to be licensed, including those who
provide emergency, shelter and temporary short-term care.
process includes completing a FBI fingerprint-based background check
foster parent training offered at various locations statewide. After
becoming a licensed foster parent, there is ongoing training,
financial and medical support to meet the needs of each child in
care, and access to a lending library of books, videos and other
resources on foster care topics. In addition, foster parents may have
local options to attend meetings and groups for mentoring as added
and short-term foster parents need to meet licensing requirements.
They must be at least 21 years old, be financially stable, have an
approved background check, own or rent a home or rent an apartment,
have adequate space for a child and successfully complete the
Sturn said there
are about 750 licensed family foster homes, therapeutic foster homes,
and approved tribal foster homes that care for about 1,500 children
and youth in foster care.
interested in becoming either a long-term or short-term licensed
foster care provider to children and youth in their home
should contact their local county social services office or a PATH
office. More information is online at
Foster Care Month proclamation can be viewed online at