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Foster Care

Foster care is the temporary living arrangement for children and youth who need a safe place to live when their parent or caretaker cannot safely take care of them.

There may be a number of reasons children and youth enter foster care. Most often, they don’t have a safe living situation at home and may have experienced abuse. Our goals are to keep children safe while their families are supported to reunify.

Frequently asked questions Foster Plus FAQs
Become a resource parentBecome a respite providerTypes of caregiversTransition services for youthResources for current caregiversData and reportsFoster Plus

Can you help a child in foster care?

Your help is needed to make sure our children and youth get the best care possible.

We ask our communities to join us in wrapping supports around resource families and case workers to better support children in foster care. Anything can help – donations, volunteer work, providing respite care or becoming a resource family.

Consider becoming a resource parent or respite provider, or explore ways you can help.

Become a resource parent

You can make a difference by giving children a safe place to live while their families get the help they need.

Families who provide foster care are called "resource families", "resource parents" or "relative resource parents". Relatives who provide care are required to take orientation and training to become certified.

 Resource parent overview (PDF) Step-by-step guide Foster Plus

Need more information?

Read our frequently asked questions, attend an orientation training for a more in-depth overview or connect with our partners at Every Child Oregon for assistance.

 FAQs Orientation training Every Child Oregon Foster Plus

Become a certified respite provider

A certified respite provider is trained to provide temporary care and supervision of children and youth in foster care. Respite care can be pre-planned or provided as crisis support for a resource family. 

If you're ready to get involved, visit the Every Child Oregon website and fill out a Connect form (link below). Staff will follow up with you about next steps. 

 Respite provider overview (PDF) Every Child Oregon - Respite Care

Types of caregivers

Children in foster care may live with relatives, close friends or a non-relative family.

General Resource Family: If you want to care for one or more children who are not related to you, you will apply to be a general resource family. Families from all kinds of backgrounds are welcome, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion or sexual orientation.

Child-specific: Families can apply and be certified to provide foster care for a specific child. This could be a child they know from their neighborhood, school, church, etc. These families don’t generally plan to have other foster children placed with their family.

Relative/Kinship Care: ODHS strongly prefers to place children in foster care with relatives or kin when safe and appropriate. 

Foster Plus: Some children need additional support. Proctor families of all shapes and sizes care for children with the enhanced support of a Child Caring Agency (CCA) like those connected to Foster Plus.

Relative and Kinship Connections

Relative connections are important for children in foster care. We strongly encourage relative and kinship connections even when you are not able to be a primary caregiver. There are many ways to help a child stay connected to family.

Relative and Kinship Connections information

Related resources

Help support children

Connect directly with ODHS or through our partners at Every Child Oregon.

Share our message

Help us spread the word through our Public Service Announcement (PSA) video series and printed materials.

 PSA Foster Care Video Series