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Job & Family Services Office of Families and Children
Foster Care and Residential Agency Certification and Licensing
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The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) oversees Ohio’s foster care and adoption providers and agencies. It licenses agencies to provide foster care, adoption and/or residential services for children, to make sure they are fit to provide care and fit to authorize others to provide care.

ODJFS licensing staff conduct announced and unannounced inspections of all licensed foster care agencies and facilities. They also inspect a sample of foster homes licensed by each agency. Several types of agencies require licensure: 

  • County public children services agencies (PCSAs).
  • Residential programs and group homes operated by PCSAs.
  • Private child-placing agencies, which accept temporary or permanent legal custody of children. These agencies may operate residential facilities – such as group homes, residential
  • centers and crisis care facilities – or independent living programs. They recommend foster homes for certification and place children in foster and/or adoptive homes.
  • Private noncustodial agencies, which provide many of the same services as private child-placing agencies but do not accept legal custody of children.
  • Local public entities that are not PCSAs but operate residential programs (for example, juvenile courts). 

If you are interested in opening a licensed foster care/adoption agency, click here for more information about the requirements and application process. 

If you are ready to submit your initial inquiry, fill out the online form. The information you submit will be sent electronically to ODJFS licensing staff, who will review it. You will then be assigned to a licensing specialist. This specialist will contact you to continue the licensing application process.
After you’ve been assigned to a licensing specialist, you may fill out your application. Your licensing specialist will give you a copy of JFS 01290, “Application for Certification of Agency Functions.” You can also find a copy of this form in the list below.

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Updates and Modifications The FCLPM is used internally as guidance to ensure consistent and streamlined procedures are followed.  There are circumstances that an OFC staff may need to deviate from a procedure as approved by their supervisor.  The FCLPM does not supersede federal law, Ohio Revised Code (ORC), Ohio Administrative Code (OAC), or any protocol established by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, or the Office of Families and Children. The FCLPM is not legally binding.

The Foster Care Licensing Procedure Manual (FCLPM), including timelines, may be updated as deemed necessary by the FCLPM Review Committee and each time there are revisions to rules or automated system changes, with approval by OFC senior management.  Once changes are made, the newly revised procedure will be added to the FCLPM and posted.    

Limitations The FCLPM does not supersede federal law, Ohio Revised Code (ORC), Ohio Administrative Code (OAC), or any protocol established by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, or the Office of Families and Children. The FCLPM is not legally binding.  

County Directory
PCSAO 
Ohio Children's Alliance
Map of foster care licensing field offices and supervisors 
eManuals and rules 
Ohio Revised Code 
• Ohio Administrative Code  

Agency Master List  

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about FCASPL 314 (Criminal Records Check Procedures for Child Care Staff, Foster and/or Adoptive Caregivers and Applicants)