The Foster Parent NETwork

San Joaquin County


Phone 209-465-KIDS (5437)


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Questions About Licensing

Q: Why must foster homes be licensed?

A: State regulations require that foster parents be licensed. This  is to insure that the home meets health and safety standards. Relatives and family members are exempt from licensure, although they must meet the same requirements as licensed foster parents.

Q: Who actually issues the license?

A: San Joaquin County Foster Care Licensing provides    licensing services and issues the license. The licensing regulations are established in the California Administrative Code and are supplemented by local regulations.

Q: What is the process for becoming licenses as a foster parent?

A: The process for obtaining a foster care license is as follows:

  1. Attend a Foster Care Orientation Meeting and obtain a copy of the Title 22 Regulations, and a foster care application packet.
  2. Fill out the application packet and mail it back to our office in the self-addressed envelope.  It is suggested that you keep an extra copy of your application for your records.
  3. The Licensing Supervisor reviews all new applications for completeness and possible problems such as criminal history, health-related problems and income.  After the application is reviewed, it is assigned to a Licensing Social Worker.
  4. The Licensing Social Worker, will contact you and set-up an appointment to meet with you at your home.  At your initial home inspection, they discuss licensing regulations with you and assist you in making sure that your home is in compliance with State regulations.  Before leaving your home, the licenser will explain any needed corrections and the timeframe for these corrections to be made.  The follow-up appointment is scheduled within 30 days of your initial visit to insure that any corrections that are needed have been completed.  During this time if you have any questions or concerns your licenser is available and will give you a business card with her contact information.
  5. The Licensing Social Worker will refer you to PRIDE pre-service training, which is our foster and adoptive parent training program at Delta College.  This class is three hours per week for ten weeks.
  6. The Licensing Social Worker will submit your Live Scan forms, and you will be contacted by our office for an appointment to complete your Live Scan.  (A Live Scan is a computerized background clearance check).
  7. You will need to be certified in infant CPR/First Aid, and show proof of certification to your licenser.  You can do this a anytime throughout the application process.  A health screen and TB test will also be required.
  8. All done, you are now fully licensed and ready to receive placements.

Q: I want to adopt a child. Do I still need to obtain a foster home license?

A: Yes. In order to adopt, you must be licensed to care for the child until the adoption is finalized.

Q: Who is allowed to take care of foster children when the foster parents are not home?

A: Persons who are themselves licensed foster parents, licensed day care providers, alternate caretakers cleared through Foster Home Licensing, or who have been certified through the State may care for foster children.  If the caretaker is a licensed foster parent, licensed day care operator or certified through a foster family agency (FFA), the foster child may be cared for in that person's home.  Otherwise, a person cleared through Foster Home Licensing must care for the foster child in the foster parent's home.

B: Effective January 1, 2006, new provisions contained in Section 362.04 of the Welfare and Institutions Code provides that a caregiver can use a short-term babysitter (meaning no more than 24 hours) when a caregiver needs to attend various activities, including, but not limited to:

  • Medical or Health Care Appointments
  • Grocery or Other shopping
  • Personal Grooming appointments
  • Special Events for the Foster Parent
  • Foster Care Continuing Education/Training Classes
  • School Related Meeting (i.e., parent-teacher conference)
  • Business Meetings
  • Adult Social Gatherings
  • An Evening Out

The new law allows the short-term babysitter to care for a foster child without having to obtain a health screen, CPR certification or a criminal record background check.

Q: What is the cost of securing a license?

A: No licensing fee is charged for any home caring for six (6) or less children. You will need to furnish, at your own expense, a medical statement based on an examination from your own doctor, showing you are free of contagious diseases and physically able to care for children. Forms are provided by the Foster Home Licensing Unit for your doctors statement.  Each member of the household who is 18 years of age and older must have an approved tuberculin test or a chest x-ray at the time of the initial application. This can be obtained from the County Health Department.

Q: How many foster children can we care for at any one time?

A: Each child needs individual love and care from the foster parents. For that reason the number of foster children in the home shall not exceed six.  An infant needs lots of individual attention from the foster parents for his normal development. Therefore, the number of infants under two years of age, including infants of the foster family, must be strictly limited to two.

Q: Is my license transferable from state to state?

A: No.  You must become licensed in the county where you reside.  If you move to another county you must become licensed in that county.

Q: Is on-going education or training required for the foster parent?

A: Yes.  During each year of licensure, foster parents are required to complete initial and on-going training related to foster parenting and/or child development.

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