Foster Care Certification

The Definitive Guide to Becoming a Foster Parent in Philadelphia

Eligibility

People in many different situations are able to become foster parents.  See the list below for common situations that potential Philadelphia foster parents ask about.  This list is by no means absolute.  If you are concerned that your circumstances may pose a problem, discuss it with your local agency and they can tell you what options are available.  

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Unlikely to Pose a Problem

  • Being single, unmarried, or living alone
  • Being in a same-sex relationship
  • Low income (as long as you are able to meet your child’s basic needs)
  • Working during the day
  • Living in an apartment or condo
  • Having other children
  • Having pets
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May Pose a Problem

  • Having a prior criminal or child abuse record
  • Living with someone with a prior criminal or child abuse record in the same home
  • Living outside of the greater Philadelphia area
  • Living in New Jersey or Delaware
  • Being unable to meet the home study requirements in step 4 below
  • Having medical or physical conditions that would prevent you from caring for a child (such as being bed bound)

Steps to Certification

The following is a guide for foster care certification in Philadelphia.  Some agencies may have slightly different requirements.  Make sure to check with your local agency first.

STEP 1

Finding and Agency

STEP 2

In-Person Training

STEP 3

Clearances and Documentation

STEP 5

Getting Certified

Step 1: Find an Agency

The first step to becoming a foster parent is finding a foster care licensing agency. These organizations are contracted by the Department of Human Services (DHS) to license new foster parents and to support them in their role. Use the interactive map below to find an agency near you. You can also click the link below to see an alphabetical list of all Philadelphia foster care agencies.

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A Second Chance

(215) 564-0790
1341 N. Delaware Ave.
Suite 101
Philadelphia, PA 19122

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Bethanna

(215) 568-2435
2501 Reed St.
Philadelphia, PA 19146

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Carson Valley Children's Aid

(215) 225-2649
2300 W. Allegheny Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19032

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Children's Choice

(610) 521-6270
5238 N. Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA 19122

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Concern

(610) 944-0445
1 W. Main St.
Fleetwood, PA 19522

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Concilio

(215) 627-3100
141 E. Huntington Park Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19124

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Delta Family Services

(215) 887-6300
2210 Mt. Carmel Ave.
Glenside, PA 19038

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Devereux Foundation

(215) 965-5772
3300 Henry Ave, 3rd Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19129

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Elwyn Inc

(215) 254-2046
3300 Henry Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19129

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First Choice Home and Community Services

(610) 461-1693
520 Pusey Ave, Suite 230
Collingdale, PA 19023

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Friendship House

(215) 438-6665
57 E. Armat St.
Philadelphia, PA 19144

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Jewish Family and Children's Service

(267) 256-2200
1501 N. Broad St, Suite 14
Philadelphia, PA 19122

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Juvenile Justice Center

(215) 849-2112
100 W. Coulter St, 10th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19144

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Methodist Services

(215) 877-1925
4300 Monument Rd.
Philadelphia, PA 19131

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New Foundations

(215) 203-8733
7210 Rising Sun Ave, Suite A
Philadelphia, PA 19111

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Northeast Treatment Centers

(215) 238-1247
499 N. 5th St, Suite A
Philadelphia, PA 19123

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Northern Children's Services

(215) 482-1423
5301 Ridge Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19128

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Pennsylvania Mentor

(215) 612-8200
10601 Decatur Rd, Suites 300 & 400
Philadelphia, PA 19154

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Pradera (APM)

(267) 507-1326
2637 N. 5th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19133

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Progressive Life Center

(267) 238-1480
1341 N. Delaware Ave, Suite 501
Philadelphia, PA 19125

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Turning Points for Children

(215) 875-8200
415 S. 15th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19146

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Silver Springs - Martin Luther School

(610) 825-4440
7208 Germantown Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19119

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Tabor Children's Services

(215) 842-4800
57 E. Armat St.
Philadelphia, PA 19144

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The Village

(215) 730-2240
6517 Chester Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19142

For more information, look for the list of foster care agencies on the DHS resource page.

Title Address Description
A Second Chance
1341 N Delaware Ave #101, Philadelphia, PA 19125, USA

(215) 564-0790

1341 N. Delaware Ave.
Suite 101
Philadelphia, PA 19122

View Website | Contact

Bethanna
2501 Reed St, Philadelphia, PA 19146, USA

(215) 568-2435

2501 Reed St.
Philadelphia, PA 19146

View Website | Contact

Carson Valley Children's Aid
2300 W Allegheny Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19132, USA

(215) 225-2649

2300 W. Allegheny Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19032

View Website | Contact

Children's Choice
5238 N Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19141, USA

(610) 521-6270

5238 N. Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA 19122

View Website | Contact

Concern
1 W Main St, Fleetwood, PA 19522, USA

(610) 944-0445

1 W. Main St.
Fleetwood, PA 19522

View Website | Contact

Concilio
141 E Hunting Park Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19124, USA

(215) 627-3100

141 E. Huntington Park Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19124

View Website | Contact

Delta Family Services
2210 Mt Carmel Ave, Glenside, PA 19038, USA

(215) 887-6300

2210 Mt. Carmel Ave.
Glenside, PA 19038

View Website | Contact

First Choice Home and Community Services
520 Pusey Ave #230, Collingdale, PA 19023, USA

(610) 461-1693

520 Pusey Ave, Suite 230
Collingdale, PA 19023

View Website | Contact

Devereux Foundation
3300 Henry Ave 3rd Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19129, USA

(215) 965-5772

3300 Henry Ave, 3rd Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19129

View Website | Contact

Elwyn Inc
3302 Henry Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19129, USA

(215) 254-2046

3300 Henry Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19129

View Website | Contact

Friendship House
57 E Armat St, Philadelphia, PA 19144, USA

(215) 438-6665

57 E. Armat St.
Philadelphia, PA 19144

View Website | Contact

Jewish Family and Children's Service
1501 N Broad St #14, Philadelphia, PA 19122, USA

(267) 256-2200

1501 N. Broad St, Suite 14
Philadelphia, PA 19122

View Website | Contact

Juvenile Justice Center
100 W Coulter St 10th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19144, USA

(215) 849-2112

100 W. Coulter St, 10th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19144

View Website | Contact

Methodist Services
4300 Monument Rd, Philadelphia, PA 19131, USA

(215) 877-1925

4300 Monument Rd.
Philadelphia, PA 19131

View Website | Contact

New Foundations
7210 Rising Sun Ave Suite A, Philadelphia, PA 19111, USA

(215) 203-8733

7210 Rising Sun Ave, Suite A
Philadelphia, PA 19111

View Website | Contact

Northeast Treatment Centers
499 N 5th St Suite A, Philadelphia, PA 19123, USA

(215) 238-1247

499 N. 5th St, Suite A
Philadelphia, PA 19123

View Website | Contact

Northern Children's Services
5301 Ridge Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19128, USA

(215) 482-1423

5301 Ridge Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19128

View Website | Contact

Pennsylvania Mentor
10601 Decatur Rd, Philadelphia, PA 19154, USA

(215) 612-8200

10601 Decatur Rd, Suites 300 & 400
Philadelphia, PA 19154

View Website | Contact

Pradera (APM)
2637 N 5th St, Philadelphia, PA 19133, USA

(267) 507-1326

2637 N. 5th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19133

View Website | Contact

Progressive Life Center
1343 N Delaware Ave #501, Philadelphia, PA 19125, USA

(267) 238-1480

1341 N. Delaware Ave, Suite 501
Philadelphia, PA 19125

View Website | Contact

Turning Points for Children
415 S 15th St, Philadelphia, PA 19146, USA

(215) 875-8200

415 S. 15th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19146

View Website | Contact

Silver Springs - Martin Luther School
7208 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19119, USA

(610) 825-4440

7208 Germantown Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19119

View Website | Contact

Tabor Children's Services
59 E Armat St, Philadelphia, PA 19144, USA

(215) 842-4800

57 E. Armat St.
Philadelphia, PA 19144

View Website | Contact

The Village
6517 Chester Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19142, USA

(215) 730-2240

6517 Chester Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19142

View Website | Contact

Step 2: in-person training

All foster parents are required to complete at least 6 hours of in person training before certification.  Different foster care agencies have different training classes available which vary in location and length.  Your specific agency will let you know when their classes are available.

Annual training is usually required to maintain certification each year as well.  A number of classes are available to meet this requriement.

 

Step 3: clearances and documents

All foster parents are required to collect a number of documents and clearances before they can be certified. Some items are required for the whole household, such as insurance. Other items are required for each person applying to be a foster parent. Government clearances are required for all adults age 18 or older living in the home, even if they are not applying to be foster parents.

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Household Requirements

The following items are required for the household.

  • Home/renters insurance
  • Car insurance
  • Pet records (vaccines)
  • Foster child profile
  • Foster care application
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Individual Requirements

The following items are required for each foster parent getting certified.

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Government Clearances

The following clearances are required for each person age 18 or older living in your house.  You may be required to have one additional person cleared in order to watch your child in an emergency.

Step 4: home study

After completing your clearances and documentation, the final step to certification involves a home evaluation.  A representative from your foster care agency will come to your house and go through a checklist to make sure your home meets the requirements set forth by DHS. 

Home Study Checklist

Kitchen, Bath, and Utilities

  • Working stove and refrigerator
  • Adequate nourishing food
  • Running hot and cold water
  • Flushing toilet
  • Working electricity
  • Heating system

Bedrooms

  • Crib for each child 0-2 years old
  • Bed for each child >2 with bedding
  • Closet or dresser available for clothing
  • Separate genders in separate rooms for all children over age 5

Safety Measures

  • No exposed wires
  • Door/window locks
  • Childproofing (outlet plugs/gates)
  • Working fire extinguisher
  • Smoke detector on each floor
  • No structural damage
  • No lead exposure

 Other Items

  • Firearms registered and secured away
  • No pet safety issues
  • Medicines/chemicals labelled and stored properly
  • First aid kit with basic supplies
  • Land line or cell phone available

    Step 5: Get certified

    Once your home study is completed and your documents and clearances are all submitted, you are ready to be certified!  Your foster care agency will submit your file to DHS and you should receive your certification in the mail.  Once you are certified, your house will be officially open and you can begin caring for children immediately.  When a child needs a home, a social worker from DHS will contact you.

    To learn more about receiving your first placement, see the new placement guide.

     

    Learn More About Foster Care

    The following guides can help get you up to speed on several important aspects of foster care in Philadelphia.

    Finances

    Learn about financial support available for foster parents.

    Healthcare

    Learn about healthcare topics such as doctors visits and insurance.

    The Legal System

    Learn about family court, hearings, and child custody.

    Caseworkers and Visits

    Learn about the different types of caseworkers, home visits, and parent visits.

    New Placements

    Learn about what to ask when receiving a new placement and the first week in care

    School and Daycare

    Learn more about education, school, and daycare.

    Adoption and Permanency

    Learn about foster care, adoption, and foster-to-adopt.

    Foster Care Policies

    Learn about policies like travel and babysitters