Thinking About Child Foster Care

Child foster care is temporary, substitute parental care for a child until Washington County is able to reunite the child with their biological family or until permanent plans are made. Children enter foster care through no fault of their own and have experienced traumatic incidents that lead to their placement out-of-home.

Things to Consider before Fostering

Policy regarding Adoption Studies/Foster Care Families Wanting to do Adoption Care Only (PDF)

Policy regarding Child Foster Care's Respite/Substitute Care Policy (PDF)

Emergency Placement

Emergency foster parents accept placement of children in their home on short notice. These placements can last anywhere from a few hours to several months. Providers have the option to accept placements during business hours only or 24/7.


Concurrent foster parents accept placements of children who may need a permanent home. Providers commit to being the adoptive resource if reunification with birth parents is not possible.


Respite foster parents provide care for children one or two weekends per month. Respite is a voluntary service utilized by birth families who have children with mental health diagnoses or intellectual disabilities.

The first step to becoming a foster parent is to attend an informational meeting.

If you plan to apply with a partner, both must attend.

Due to the nature of the topic, children should not be present.

View the meeting calendar below. When no meetings are currently being offered, the calendar will not be present.