Become a Foster Parent

//Become a Foster Parent
Become a Foster Parent2019-02-06T13:30:10+00:00

Foster Parents Build Better Lives for Children!

Welcome to ChildServ’s foster parent information page, and thank you for your interest in learning more about how foster parents help kids to reach their potential!

To learn more about ChildServ and what it means to be a foster parent, we invite you to watch the short video below, featuring, in part, one of our fantastic, inspiring foster parents, Ms. Charlene Carter.

For 124 years, ChildServ has partnered with caring, committed foster parents to find safe, loving homes for the children in our care. We provide our foster parents with comprehensive and extensive training and support to prepare and assist them, as well as, help each child to improve their social and emotional skills so that they can build a better life.

ChildServ’s foster parents make a tremendous impact on a child, creating a nurturing environment and encouraging the child’s learning and growth.

  • Our foster parents learn to understand a child’s development from a trauma-informed perspective. They help to interpret a child’s behavior; recognize stages of grief and their impact on the child’s behavior; and develop healthy, open lines of communication with the child and their support team.
  • Parents in our foster care programs take charge of completing the child’s comprehensive health evaluation: physical and dental exams, immunizations and developmental assessments.
  • Foster parents are actively engaged in their child’s education, enrolling the child in school, ensuring daily attendance and completion of homework.

As a foster parent, you must be…

  • A stable, mature adult, at least 25-years-old
  • Single or in a committed relationship
  • Financially stable and responsible
  • In good health, confirmed by a physical examination.
  • Able to provide references as part of a background check
  • Active participant in the licensing process, including orientation sessions and in-home interviews.
  • Participate in pre-service training for new foster parents.

Your home must…

  • Be clean, well-ventilated, free from hazard and have appropriate light and heat.
  • Have sufficient bedroom space.
  • Have an operating telephone.

Successful foster parents…

  • Provide a safe, secure and nurturing environment.
  • Ensure that their child is supervised appropriately for their age and development.
  • Treat the foster child as one of their own children.
  • Are patient, understanding and sensitive individuals.
  • Are responsible for transporting the child to necessary appointments, such as medical, dental and case management services.

ChildServ regularly hosts informational and recruitment sessions for prospective foster parents at our Chicago-South and Chicago-North locations. Upcoming dates:

  • Monday, February 25, 2019 (Chicago-South)
  • Monday, March 11, 2019 (Chicago-North)
  • Monday, March 18, 2019 (Chicago-South)
  • Monday, April 15, 2019 (Chicago-South)
  • Monday, May 20, 2019 (Chicago-South)
  • Monday, June 10, 2019 (Chicago-North)
  • Monday, June 17, 2019 (Chicago-South)

You MUST register prior to attending a Foster Parent Recruitment and Orientation Session, and attendance is based on qualification for program.

To RSVP for an upcoming session or for more information about becoming a foster parent, please contact us at (773) 239-8094 or

Additional ways to support foster families and children

  • Provide a meal – When someone has a baby, family and friends often bring a meal while the family is adjusting to a new addition. Meals are a huge blessing that helps create time and emotional space during these days of getting to know one another. Be certain to ask about food allergies, likes, and which meal to deliver.

  • Become a respite provider or approved babysitter – Foster parents can decide who may be with their Youth in Service just as they do with their own children. If your congregation provides background checks for those who work with children and you are on this list AND known by the family, let them know you can provide a few hours of oversight. See if another household may provide tickets to see a movie or pay for valet parking.

  • Mentor a youth – A mentor in a young person’s life is one of the most powerful factors in making a positive difference in that young person’s life! This is particularly true for older kids. Kids need supportive adults in their lives. Offer to take a foster kid out for dinner, ice cream, or to a ball game on a regular basis and earn their trust by listening and connecting.

  • Volunteer to run errands – Offering to stop at the store, take a child to their soccer practice or dance class, take packages to the post office, or even take the family car in to be serviced is a huge help! There are many opportunities! Let a foster family know when you are available and how you can help!

  • Household chores – There is paperwork and numerous appointments that come with foster care (doctors, dentist, psychologist, play therapist, OT, PT, etc.) in addition to all the visitors that come see the kids each month (caseworker, lawyer, agency worker, etc.). So, while foster families may seem like the average family, there are so many household tasks that can easily slip through the cracks in the business. An offer to come help clean out the garage, weed flower bed, repair a fence, organize a closet or under the sinks, or even folding laundry would be such a blessing for a family.

  • Package and grocery delivery helper – Offer to be the home where packages can be delivered when foster families know they will not be available to receive a package. Since more families are ordering their groceries online but may have a schedule conflict for the time of delivery, offer to be available to put perishable items away in the refrigerator or freezer.

  • Lawn and outside care provider – Offer to cut the grass, weed a flower bed, water the plants, rake leaves, or pick-up trash, sweep off steps and sidewalks, or shovel the walk and steps. 

For more information, contact ChildServ’s Foster Care and Adoption services at (773) 239-8094.

These meetings provide an opportunity for foster parents to review the foster parent implementation plan.

To learn about meeting dates or ask questions, please email

What is Foster Parent Law Plan?

It establishes public policy 20 ILCS 520 regarding the rights and responsibilities of foster parents as an essential part of the child welfare team. ChildServ is responsible for developing an annual plan for implementing the plan. Department of Children and Family Services and Private Agencies are responsible for developing annual plans for the law to insure that foster parents are provided with the information and support to fulfill their responsibility to full participate as a member of the child welfare team.

How can you participate in the development of the Plan?

Each year ChildServ holds meetings in September to discuss needed revisions to the Plan. Foster parents can provide feedback on needed changes and will endorse the Plan once finalized.

If you are unable to attend a meeting, you can complete the Foster Parents Feedback Form (click here) and email it to or fax it to (773) 867-7364, attention: Lynsey Sloan.

Foster parents can participate on the Foster Parent Advisory Council (FPAC) and assist in the development of the annual plan. If you are interested in becoming a member of the FPAC, please see the handbook listed below.

What you should know about the 2015 Plan?

Our 2015 Foster Parent Law Plan is available in English and in Spanish by calling (773) 239-8094. As part of the Foster Parent Law Plan, foster parents must be notified of ChildServ’s Appeal/Grievance Policy, which is available below.

To obtain a copy of the below policies in in Spanish and/or English, contact ChildServ’s Program Director at A summary version is also available.


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