General e-mail address:
Clint Mack, Supervisor
Janice Melton, Adult and Child Foster Care Licensor
Angie Lunow, Adult and Child Foster Care Licensor
Sarah Kulesa, Kinship/Relative Foster Care Licensor
602 E. 4th Street
Chaska, MN 55318
What is relative foster care?
Relative foster care applies when children are officially placed in a home by a social service agency and the children are related to the adults in the home or they have had a significant relationship. Deciding to foster relative or kin is not a decision that should be made lightly and it is important to consider the expectations that come with this commitment.
How is the licensing process different for relatives?
The process to become a foster parent for relatives or kin is similar to that of non-relative foster parents. The biggest difference is that the licensing process for relatives usually begins after a child is placed in the relatives home. Licensing agencies are also expected to help relatives overcome barriers to licensing to support the continued placement of children with relatives or kin.
What I begin the licensing process for a relative/kin child but don't follow through with the licensing process?
Minnesota DHS provides guidance for counties that relatives should complete the licensing process in about 120 days. A child placed in the home of a relative who is not licenses to provide foster care must be removed from that home if the relative fails to cooperate with the county agency.
What if I live in one county but another county is making the placement decisions for a relative or kin child?
When children are placed with relatives it is common for the multiple counties to be involved. The county that has made the decision to remove the child from the parents care initiates the licensing process to a relative/kin foster home. Once the child is placed in the relatives home the placing agency has 10 days to send a referral to the county in which the relative lives. Once the referral is received the county in which the relative lives will complete the licenses process.
Please contact a member of our team if you need further information
Relative Foster Care Process
By accepting relative or kin children in your home either in the short-term or long-term you are agreeing to cooperate with the licensing process.
Home Safety Inspection
- Prior to the children being placed in your home or within 72 hours of placement a home safety checklist must be completed. This will provide you with the needed information so that by the time the other steps are completed you will be able to meet all the standards of the checklist. If you meet certain criteria you may also need to complete a State Fire Marshal inspection.
Foster Care Application
- Within 10 days of placement the family must complete an Child Foster Care Application. Make sure you have completed the full application including names and addresses for three references.
Background Study (NetStudy 2.0)
- Some initial paperwork includes releases for the State Department of Human Services to do a background study. This is a NetStudy 2.0 background study that is required to be complete specifically for foster care. All applicants and household members age 13 and over will need to complete a background study. Please note that certain criminal convictions and Child Protection history may disqualify you from becoming a licensed foster care provider.
- There is additional forms that will be provided to you. Licensing workers will support you and answer questions as needed. On important form needed by each adult 18 or older in the home will need to complete an Individual Fact Sheet.
- There are mandatory training for child foster care to include children's mental health, care seat safety, sudden unexpected infant death/abusive head trauma and Normalcy, Reasonable and Prudent Parenting Standards. Most of these training can be completed online on our training page.
Home Study Assessment
The licensing worker will meet with the License Holders separately to go over information about their childhood, how they were disciplined, how they discipline or plan on disciplining children, employment history, relationship history, finances, and strengths and weaknesses of the family. Once all of the information for the Home Study has been compiled, the licensing worker will write up the Home Study report and will have a supervisor review and approve the Home Study.
Submit License to DHS
After all of the required documents are completed and approved, and the required training and home visit interviews are completed, the licensing worker will submit the paperwork to the Department of Human Services with a recommendation that a license be issued.