Foster FAQs

Fostering a child doesn’t need to be overwhelming. Our frequently asked questions help foster parent applicants understand the process and answer any questions they may have before getting started.

No, in Washoe County you do not need to be a homeowner. You can foster, even if you are renting. You can reside in an apartment, rental home, or pre-manufactured home.
No, you can be single, married or living with your significant other.
Yes, Washoe County does not discriminate based on sexual orientation, gender identity, age,race, etc.
The average amount of time it takes for a family to become licensed to foster is anywhere from 3-6 months.
Applicants must be over the age of 21, must attend an informational session, participate in a post information session interview, complete the application process, submit to a background check, complete required training, participate in the home study process and participate in a home inspection.
Yes, as part of the application and home study process you will identify the number of children that you wish to care for, as well as their age and gender.
There are minimal costs that applicants are responsible for, such as the cost for fingerprinting, which can vary based on where the individuals or family have resided in the past 10 years. Other costs can include CPR certification, TB tests, and any expenses associated with getting your home ready to accept foster youth.
When children enter foster care, they experience a great deal of change and therefore, to maintain some degree of consistency, children are expected to attend their school of origin.
Applicants must be able to financially meet their own and their family’s basic needs prior to becoming a foster parent, and have the ability to meet the needs of the child or children that they seek to have placed in their home.
Yes, many of our foster parents work outside the home full time. For children that are not of school age, the child’s caseworker will make a referral to Children’s Cabinet so foster parents can apply for childcare subsidy assistance. Foster parents of school age children often use a before and after school program to aid them with childcare while they are at work.
Yes, foster parents receive a monthly foster care payment to aid with the child (ren’s) needs. All foster youth have medical insurance.
The decision is made on a case-by-case basis, to meet the needs of the child and their family, but it is likely. All of our families start out with a permanency plan of reunification and therefore, our foster parents are expected to transport and facilitate visits between the child(ren) and their birth parents, which may require interactions. We strongly encourage a positive, co-parenting relationship between the foster parent and birth parents for the benefit of the child(ren).
No, birth parents will not be provided your home address, that information is confidential.
Yes, arrangements can be made to authorize children in care to travel with their foster parents.
Children of all ages enter foster care, from 0-17 years of age.
On average we have over 800 children in care in Washoe County at any given time.
This varies by circumstances and individual families. An “average” stay of a child in foster care could be six months to eighteen months.
No, children under the age of 4 years or children of the same sex over the age of 4 years can share a bedroom, as long as there is enough room for each child and each child has their own bed.
Yes! As part of the licensing process, you will participate in training to prepare you as a foster parent, and there are also peer support groups, peer mentors, support from your child’s caseworker, and a plethora of additional training available.
Foster parents are responsible for transporting foster children to school, doctor appointments, after-school activities, court, etc., just as they are for their own children. In addition, foster parents are responsible for transporting the foster children to and from all court-ordered visitations
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