Children enter foster care for different reasons. Most times their families cannot provide them with the basic safety and protection they need and as a result, children are abused or neglected. Many times their experience includes parental substance abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse, or abandonment.
Oregon DHS has a single foster home certification process that all applicants must go through in order to be approved to be foster parents.
Any child or young adult not placed with relatives, kith, or kin is placed with a certified family. Oregon welcomes and supports all families equally. Families of every race, culture, and ethnicity are needed to help children grow with a strong sense of racial and cultural identity. Applicants are considered regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion or sexual orientation.
Child Specific Applicant
Families who apply and become certified to provide care for a specific child or young adult are called Child Specific Foster Families. Child Specific Foster Families do not plan to have other children or young adults placed with their family. These families are not considered relatives, but may know the child from the neighborhood, school, church, or other activities the family has been involved in the community. Usually, the certification ends when the child or young adult leaves the home.
Relative/Kinship Caregiver Applicant
Relatives who apply and become a certified family for children to whom they are related are called Relative Caregivers. Relative Caregivers are valuable resources for children, and DHS has a strong commitment to prioritize the placement of children in foster care with relative caregivers, when safe and appropriate. The certification process is the same as General, non-relative, foster families.