Foster Care Licensing Process

The Steps To Become A Foster Parent

Wellspring - how can i be considered pic for icon Many people ask us, “How does foster care work?” Generally, it takes approximately 4-6 months to become a licensed foster home. The steps to become a foster parent are listed below. Our staff is here to provide guidance and information as you consider becoming a foster parent. Please review our FAQs or contact us if you’d like to learn a little bit more.


Step 1: Orientation
Attend a foster parent informational/orientation meeting with Wellspring Lutheran Services.
Step 2: Enrollment
The foster care licensor submits your application and fingerprints to the State of Michigan when they are completed. There is no cost associated with enrolling to be a foster care applicant.
Step 3: Training
Register for and complete PRIDE training (or Pressley Ridge training for Kent County residents.).
Step 4: Paperwork

Becoming a foster parent requires completing a lot of paperwork. You will be asked to provide the following documentation:

  • Names and contact information of at least three unrelated references
  • Medical clearances for every member of the home
  • Background checks for all adult members of the home
  • Copy of drivers’ licenses and valid auto insurance
  • Local clearance from the sheriff’s department (depending on the county)
  • Verification of income and monthly bills
  • Fire/emergency plan
  • Substitute caregiver forms
  • Pet immunizations/copy of license
  • Marriage/divorce decree, if applicable
  • Environmental health inspection, if home has private water and/or sewer
  • Adult child references, if you have adult children not living in the home
Step 5: Home Visits

A foster care licensor will schedule monthly home visits in order to complete a home assessment.

This will include a home inspection. Examples of what the licensing staff looks for include:

  • Bedrooms must have at least 40 square feet per person.
  • Smoke detectors must be present on each level of the home.
  • Windows must have screens if they are used for ventilation.
  • Bedrooms and all living areas must have one outside window that can be opened and used for ventilation.
  • Overall, the home must be safe and clean.

The foster home licensor will ask a lot of questions about you and other family members, including:  your childhood, past relationships, substance abuse history, criminal history, your parenting style and discipline used, motivation for foster care, types of foster children you desire, your physical and mental health, and finances.

Step 6: Report Submitted to the State
The foster care licensor completes the home assessment and submits it to an analyst at the state’s Bureau of Child and Adult Licensing (BCAL).
Step 7: Review & Decision
The analyst reviews the home study, may ask for additional information, and either approves or denies the license.

To learn more, contact us or call 844.HOPEFLOWS (844.467.3356)