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​Foster Care in Pennsylvania

Every child deserves a loving, nurturing permanent home, where they feel cared for, safe and supported. Foster care provides temporary care with foster parents for children who are unable to remain in their own homes and are placed in the custody of the county Children and Youth agency by the courts.

Both public and private foster care agencies as well as the Pennsylvania State Resource Family Association (toll-free: 800-951-5151) recruit foster parents to provide these services for children. Each foster care agency accepts applications from individuals interested in becoming foster parents. There are minimum requirements that must be met by all applicants:

  • Be at least 21 years of age.
  • Pass a medical examination that states the individual is physically able to care for children and is free from communicable disease.
  • Pass screening requirements related to child abuse and criminal history clearances.

The agency will also consider other matters such as parent/child relationships; how the applicant can meet the special needs of children placed in the home; and number and characteristics of children best suited for the foster family. The foster family residence must meet certain minimal requirements. Regulated requirements can be located in Title 55 Pa. Code Chapter 3700 (Foster Family Care Agency).

Other Resources

For more information on becoming a foster parent, please visit the SWAN Foster Web Page.

 Content Editor

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS), which is in part comprised of the Office of Children, Youth, and Families (OCYF) complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.