Foster Care Provider Certification

About Foster Parenting

Foster parenting is caring for a child who has been abused or neglected until his or her parents can resume their caretaker responsibility or until a permanent plan such as placement with relatives or adoption is achieved. The Gloucester Department of Social Services is looking for foster parents who are committed to working with the child through this difficult period in his/her life and who are able to work well with the department in achieving the foster care goal set for the child.

Basic Qualifications Required for Certification

The foster parent must be:

  • 21 years of age or older
  • Have enough income to meet their own expenses without having to rely on foster care payments
  • Able to provide a safe and healthy home with enough space for a child, willing to work with the agency, children's families, schools, and others
  • Able to help a child cope with separation from his family and with the effects of abuse and neglect and able to "let go" when the time comes
  • Able to attend pre-service training and upon certification attend required in-service training

Qualities Foster Parents Need to Possess

We are looking for people who are good listeners, flexible, realistic, able to laugh, and team players. All these qualities are necessary in order to provide the best possible care for the children who have been put in our care.

Other Specific Requirements or Information

  • All applicants will undergo a Criminal Records Check as well as a Child Protective Service Release clearance.
  • All applicants will have current Tuberculosis (TB) tests.
  • Two references will be required for each applicant.
  • Applicant must have a telephone and transportation, with appropriate automobile insurance.

Approval Process

Upon inquiring about foster parenting, the foster parent recruiter will send out information on foster parenting. If you are interested in learning more contact the foster parent recruiter who will conduct a short orientation session. This orientation session will enable the worker to ascertain whether the interested person meets the general qualifications as outlined. It also permits prospective foster families an opportunity to determine if they are truly interested in foster parenting. 

The initial paperwork is then given to the applicant. Upon satisfactory completion of the initial paperwork the foster home recruiter will conduct intensive interviews of the applicants and inspect their homes for state compliance. If everything is satisfactory after these stages in the process, the applicants will become certified foster parents for a period of three years. Re-certification occurs at that time. During the three year period, foster parents must attend a minimum of ten hours of child related training sessions offered by Gloucester Social Services or another approved training program.