Foster Care Coronavirus (COVID-19) Notice
  • Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, Information meetings are cancelled until further notice! Please call (608) 334-4417 for information on becoming a foster parent.

What is foster care?
Foster care is temporary care, supervision, and maintenance of a child placed in a home or foster care facility licensed by Dane County or a private child placement agency.
Why are children in foster care?
Foster care is needed when children cannot safely remain with birth families, or have needs that the birth family cannot provide care for.
Are children in foster care waiting to be adopted?
Most children in foster care need temporary placements. There is no expectation that foster parents will adopt children placed with them, although a few will not be able to return home and may be adopted if the court allows.
Must foster parents be married?
No. We license single adults, married couples, and partners living together as long as they are at leat 21 years old. All eligible adults in the foster home must be licensed.
I work outside the home. Is that a problem?
No. We provide funding for childcare when foster parents are employed outside the home.
What about expenses such as clothing, food, and shelter for foster children?
Each foster family receives a monthly stipend determined by the age and special needs of children placed in their home.
What else do foster parents receive?
  • Preplacement, initial and ongoing training designed to help you meet the needs of foster children;
  • Support and guidance from foster care consultants and community traetment providers;
  • The reward of knowing you have helped a child in need.
Do I have to own my home to be a foster parent?
Renters as well as homeowners are encouraged to become foster parents.
I don't have extra rooms in my house. Is this a problem?
No. Foster children can share a bedroom with other children, as long as ther is sufficient space. Boys and girls may not share a bedroom if they are 6 years of age or older. Each foster child must have his/her own bed.
Is it difficult to become a licensed foster parent?
Foster children are vulnerable and need special care. Extensive screening is completed on all foster families to assess for overall stability. The length of licensing process is dependent on each family situation.
How long will a foster child stay in my home?
Each child and family situation is unique. Permanency plans are developed for each child in out-of-home care.
What about vacation?
With prior approval, children in foster care can accompany their foster families on vacation. When a foster child cannot accompany you, we will work with you to find respite care during vacation or times of need.
Must I accept any child that needs placement?
No. You will have input as to the type of foster care you provide with regard to age, gender, and needs of children you will accept. You always have a right to say “No” to a placement.

Do you have more questions? Would you like to apply? Please call 608-242-NEED (242-6333) or 608-242-6303 and talk with a Dane County Human Services Foster Care staff member.

MONDAY - FRIDAY: 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Phone 608-242-NEED (6333)

Fax 608-242-6294