Licensed foster families have intentionally sought the calling to provide temporary care for children. They go through a strenuous process that involves 6 - 9 months of training and vetting to ensure their home is safe for children. Only after all of the requirements are in place will they be considered to care for a child in the DFPS system.

Kinship families receive an unexpected call and have to make a decision within hours to take in a child or a sibling group. Most kinship families have no idea of the requirements that will be expected of them over the next year.

When the child is removed from their legal guardians, DFPS has Temporary Managing Conservatorship (TMC) of the child. The physical location of where a child lives has to follow most guidelines of a childcare facility.

Let's break down the requirements for a kinship family within the first 30 days the child is in their home:

  • Medical and dental checkups for each child (within 3 days of removal)
  • Daycare for young children, if both caregivers work
  • Criminal and CPS background checks for every person in the home aged 14 years and older
  • Child-proofed home (outlet covers, cabinet locks, stairway gates) if the child is 8 years old or younger
  • Working smoke detectors outside each bedroom
  • Fire extinguisher on each floor of home
  • Current pet vaccinations
  • Secure storage of weapons and ammunition
  • Trampoline must have spring pad installed
  • Swimming pool requires a separate fence, pool safety items, and door alarms
  • Outdoor sheds containing tools and chemicals must be locked
  • Medications must be locked

A home study (DFPS Form 6588) will be conducted to ensure the above requirements are met. The home study also consists of the following:

  • Interviews with everyone 3 years and older living in the home
  • Interviews with primary caregivers consist of:
    • family history
    • relationship history (previous and current)
    • physical and mental health
    • residence history (10-year)
    • employment history (10-year)
    • disaster plan
    • parenting experience and philosophy
    • discipline methods
    • support system
    • stress management
    • criminal and CPS history
    • alcohol use, drug use, tobacco use
  • Support of parental contact
  • Plans for the child placed in your home. (daycare, babysitters, etc)
  • Verification of monthly income and expenses
  • Verification of birth certificates
  • Verification of adequate transportation, driver's license and auto insurance
  • Walk-through of the home and photos of child's sleeping and bathing areas
  • Five character references (two related and three unrelated)
  • Interviews with any adult children living outside the home
  • Identification of any frequent visitors to the home
  • An emergency care provider

DFPS Kinship Forms

DFPS Kinship Care site

Hidden Foster Care - All of the Responsibility, None of the Resources