Click here to request more information on becoming a licensed foster care parent in Geauga County.

Geauga County Job & Family Services

Foster Their Way Home

Become a licensed foster parent.

Register below to take part in our Preservice Training sessions starting on:








Your journey to becoming a foster parent begins here!

Every child deserves the safety and stability of a nurturing home. In our community, there has never been a greater need for committed foster families. Foster parents are temporary caregivers to teens, children, and infants who are removed from their homes when their birth parents are unable to care for them.

As a licensed foster parent, you can support the day-to-day needs of a child, help them heal from experiences that brought them into your care, and encourage them to develop positive skills that set them up for success later in life.

By fostering a child in your city or town, you allow them to stay in familiar surroundings, attend their school, and remain close to family members.

Foster parenting is a selfless and loving act. It’s one that will undoubtedly impact a child’s life and enrich your own in unexpected ways.

Online preservice training: Take the first step.

Before submitting an official application to become a foster parent in Geauga County, the first step is completing your preservice training. The free training consists of 24 instruction hours conducted virtually on specific dates and times through an online portal.

During preservice training, you will:

  • Prepare yourself to become a foster caregiver
  • Learn the basics of foster placement
  • Understand the effects of childhood trauma
  • Find answers to questions you might have about whether you’re ready to successfully foster a child

Reunification is the goal of foster parenting.

In Geauga County, most children placed in out-of-home care are reunited with their parents. Research shows that family preservation leads to better outcomes for children.

There are many reasons why foster children are removed from their homes. What’s paramount is that foster parents understand the importance of helping children maintain positive relationships with their biological family members during the placement.

We encourage foster parents to cheer on birth parents as they progress through their assigned goals. Parent visitation and contact will ease the child’s transition back home and increase the likelihood of successful reunification.

Can I be a foster parent?

It’s likely that you can! Foster parents can be single or married, work full-time, and be of any orientation or religion. Here are some requirements that foster parents must meet to become licensed caregivers in Ohio:

  • At least 18 years of age
  • Single, married, or co-parent(s)
  • Provide a safe, loving, and nurturing home
  • In good physical and mental health
  • Adequate space in the home for additional children
  • Sufficient income and financially stable
  • Willing to support connections between children and their parents and support reunification
  • Complete the application
  • Complete 24 hours of preservice training
  • Complete CPR and First Aid training
  • Complete and clear all required criminal, children services, and driving background checks – required for all adult household members
  • Provide personal references, including three non-related, one relative, and all adult children
  • Complete a physical exam and medical statement completed by an approved healthcare provider
  • Complete home study assessment, including interviews with all household members, home safety inspection, fire inspection, and additional required paperwork that will be identified during the home study process
  • Meet all ODJFS foster home licensing requirements

Please consider a child’s needs over your preferences.

There are more children coming into foster care in Geauga County than available families to care for them. Many families won’t accept teens, sibling groups, or medically fragile children. Fostering is about helping a child – who, through no fault of their own – desperately needs a safe, temporary home willing to embrace them with love and understanding.

You could be the reason that siblings get to stay together or a teen doesn’t have to live in a group setting. With the right training and support, a child with high-level needs might fit well into your family.

Imagine what it must be like for a child to be taken out of their home. Ask yourself if you have the compassion, dedication, and patience to make a difference in their life.

Does now feel like the right time to open your heart and home to a foster child?

Every foster child’s situation is unique, and all foster children experience some form of trauma that affects their emotions and behaviors. Building a support network before becoming a foster parent is always a good idea. Foster children need dependable people in their lives who can take them to regular medical appointments, therapy appointments, and biological family visits.

If you are willing to be flexible in your thinking and open to accepting children where they are at, you will have the opportunity to strengthen many children and families.

A child is counting on you to Foster Their Way Home™.

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