Training Requirements

Thank you for your interest in becoming a licensed foster parent!

Guardians of dependent children and kinship families are also welcome and encouraged to attend all classes, free of charge, whether or not you are licensed. These classes provide valuable insights into the issues that are unique to caring for children in the child welfare system.

To become a licensed foster parent, you must complete the following training requirements:

Foster Parent Pre-Service Training

Orientation (In-person or online):

  • In-Person Orientation: This is part of your foundational training in order to become foster licensed. You are encouraged to attend an in-person orientation, as it gives you the opportunity to meet a licensor and other potential foster parents, and ask questions. The in-person orientation goes over the required forms and licensing process.
  • Online Orientation: If you are unable to make an in-person orientation you can complete the online orientation. The online orientation also covers the licensing application materials and process. Once you have completed the online orientation, if you have questions please feel free to contact a licensor in your area (click on Contact Us).

Caregiver Core Training (available in-person & online)

  • Caregiver Core Training: This training is required prior to foster care licensure. It is 24 hours of training that is available statewide. The Alliance for Child Welfare Excellence provides this Pre-Service training. Please sign up now for Caregiver Core Training.
    • Private agencies may also provide Caregiver Core Training or other pre-service trainings. If an agency offers a pre-service training other than Caregiver Core, then it will only be accepted for licensure if you chose to get licensed by that private agency. For licensure through DLR Caregiver Core is required.

First Aid/CPR and Blood Borne Pathogens: You are required to take a First Aid/CPR and Blood Borne Pathogens course. This course is offered free of charge by Keep the Beat CPR & First Aid TrainingGo to Keep the Beat for more information and class schedules.

Online orientation has 4 parts. Please complete in the following order.

1. View the Online Orientation Presentation | Español – Vea la Presentación de Orientación en Español por Internet

In the presentation you will learn about the foster care licensing process, licensing regulations, and the required forms. At the end of the presentation you will be prompted to print off your certification of completion. Once you have submitted your application material you will be assigned a licensor, and will need to provide your licensor the orientation completion certificate. Please feel free to print the presentation, so you can refer back to it at a later date.

These videos are embedded in the Online Orientation Training, but in case you are unable to access them in the presentation here are the direct links:

2. Please complete the following questionnaire. This will allow you to get connected and have support available throughout the licensing process. This is optional and encouraged.

3. Download these forms/resources: These are the application materials that you will be providing to your local Department of Children, Youth, and Families, Licensing Division (LD) office.

If you want to be licensed, add these forms:

If you are a relative who does not want to be licensed, add this form:

4. Please make contact. We want to help you through this process. There are several supports to both prospective and current foster parents.

Here are the ways to get connected:

  • Call or email your local LD office (click on Contact Us).
  • Washington works with two agencies that provide support and services to foster parents and can help you at any step during the licensing process or after you’ve been licensed.
  1. Western Washington residents please connect with Fostering Together at 1-866-958-KIDS (5437) or by email
  2. Eastern Washington residents please connect with Fostering Washington at 1-877-620-5748 or by email

Next Steps:

Complete Caregiver Core Training and submit your application materials to your local LD office.

Caregiver Continuing Education or Ongoing Training

All licensed family foster homes (including private agency, DCYF and licensed relative homes) are required to complete ongoing training during each three year licensing period.

Alliance for Child Welfare Excellence provides ongoing support once you accept a child into your home. To help you meet your ongoing training requirements, they offer classes on many subjects, such as mental health, child management and transitioning to independence. If you previously came to this website for training videos, they are still accessible on the Alliance's website.

Thank you again for your time and interest in becoming a licensed foster parent!