Foster care is designed to provide temporary care for children in need of assistance. Generally, children are placed in foster care by child welfare agencies. Some of these children are voluntarily placed in foster care when circumstances, such as a serious illness, prevent their parents from caring for them.
In cases of child abuse or neglect, social service agencies may remove children involuntarily and place them with foster parents. Most foster placements are made with the intention of reuniting the biological family at a later time. Agencies also place children in foster care while searching for adoptive parents. Families wishing to adopt a child may serve as foster parents for the child until the adoption can be completed.
All potential foster and adoptive parents must meet the licensing requirements that are set by the State of Maryland. The purpose of this page is to provide a general introduction to some of the requirements. Through the application and licensing process, a licensing worker will assist you in meeting the regulations. This is by no means an exhaustive list of all of the minimum licensing requirements.
Some of the basic licensing requirements for anyone applying to be a licensed foster or adoptive parent in Prince George’s County are:
- To be a Prince George's County Resident
- Provide Three (3) References as to Your Parenting Ability
- Complete a Minimum of 27 Hours of Pre-Service Education
- Pass a Home Safety and Sanitation Inspection
- Must not have been convicted of a crime of violence nor have been found to be a perpetrator of child abuse;
- Applicants and others living in the home, age 18 or older, must have background/ criminal-history clearance;
- Applicants must have sufficient income to support themselves without relying on foster care payments. In two-parent households, both parents may work outside the home if the child’s care will not be adversely affected.
- Applicants must discipline children in a positive manner without the use of physical punishment.
An application for a foster or adoptive parent can be denied for:
- Felony convictions, past crimes of violence, or pending criminal charges;
- Past abuse, neglect or exploitation of anyone in the applicant’s care;
- Revocation or denial of a license to care for others in the past, by any agency
- Materially false statements in the application;
- Illegal or excessive use of intoxicants by the applicant; or
- An assessment that the applicant does not demonstrate adequate judgment or stability to provide care for abused or neglected children, or appears incapable of cooperating with the agency requirements or personnel.
For specific questions about your qualifications or the condition of your home, we suggest that you speak with our foster care recruiter at 301-909-CARE, submit an inquiry or attend an information session.
If you have other questions or concerns about the Foster Care and Adoption Program, you may contact the Bureau Chief for Foster Care and Adoptions at 301-909-2000.
We look forward to working with you and your family to make this a wonderful and rewarding experience.
Interpretation Services are available for Non-English Speaking customers. Please contact one of the Local Offices for assistance.