Job & Family Services Office of Families and Children
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Foster Care Licensing

Foster Care Licensing


    Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code (ORC) Section 5103.03, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) is charged with passing upon the fitness of agencies that provide foster care, adoption and or residential services to and for children. The Agency Certification/Foster Care Licensing Section is the program area within ODJFS responsible for assessing agencies’ compliance with applicable chapters of the Ohio Administrative Code (OAC). Compliance determination is assessed through a series of announced and unannounced inspections and or investigations. Agency inspections and investigations are scheduled throughout the agency’s certification/approval period and are governed by the functions in which each agency is certified/approved for. FCL utilizes information obtained through one or more inspection reviews to determine whether an individual agency "passes" and meets the acceptable level of rule compliance, thus is "fit" to operate the program for which certification is required.


    General Requirements to Become a Foster Caregiver

    The applicant(s):

    • Must be at least 21 years of age.
    • At least one applicant in the home must be able to read, write and speak English or be able to effectively communicate with any child placed in their home and with the recommending agency.
    • May be single or legally married.
    • Must show the household has an income sufficient to meet the basic needs of the household and make timely payment of shelter costs.
    • Must be free of any physical, emotional, or mental condition which would endanger a child or seriously impair the ability of the foster caregiver or applicant to care for a foster child.
    • Must have a medical statement on all household members by a licensed physician, physician's assistant, clinical nurse specialist, certified nurse practitioner, or certified nurse-midwife.
    • No person in the household over age18 may have been convicted of or pleaded guilty of any of the offenses as defined in section 5103.0319 of the Revised Code. Some exclusions to this may be found in rule 5101:2-7-02 of the Administrative Code.
    • Must obtain an approved inspection by a certified state fire safety inspector or the state fire marshal's office certifying the home is free of conditions hazardous to the safety of foster children.
    • Must complete all preplacement and continuing training.

    For further information please contact a public children services agency or a private child placing agency in your area. A list of agencies can be located on the Public Children Services Association of Ohio (PCSAO) website or at the Ohio Association of Child Caring Agencies website