The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (DCS) approves families to foster and adopt. We believe that by experiencing the training, preparation, benefits and challenges of foster care, prospective adoptive parents develop a stronger foundational knowledge of the joys and special needs required to adopt a child from foster care. This experience can also aid you in matching to the right child based on your individual or family needs. There is no cost to adopt a child from foster care. Nor is there a cost to complete your training and home study.
If you are ready to begin the journey to becoming a licensed foster / resource parent, we encourage you to explore your options. You can work directly with DCS or you can partner with a licensed private agency. DCS uses these private agencies all the time to assist in managing the volume of kids in need. Some agencies offer extra training for working with sibling groups, troubled behaviors, special needs, medically fragile kids, and more. By reviewing the providers available, you can discover the best option for you. Sometimes it might be a training schedule that works better or extra services you might require.
We’ve compiled a list of the state and private agencies available to train and license you to become a foster parent. Some things you’ll want to consider as you evaluate an agency is:
The best recommendation we can provide is to speak with other foster parents licensed with a particular agency to gather some experienced, honest feedback. They’ll be able to provide you a better picture of what life like a foster parent will be like and how the agency operates.