How to Become a Foster Parent

“If you have a child for one day, a week, a year, or forever, that love that you have given him or her, that one day or one week, will stay with that child for a lifetime.” - Joanne, NAC foster parent

Who Can Become a Foster Parent?

NAC is looking for mature, committed adults who can open their hearts and their homes to a child with special medical needs. Potential foster parents are:

  • Over 21 years of age

  • Have a means of support through documented income (i.e. salary, employment, SSI, public assistance)

  • Have necessary housing space

Beyond being able to care for a child with special needs, foster parents must be capable of providing an emotionally stable home. NAC works with foster parents in all five boroughs of New York City, Long Island, and Westchester. ACS policy does not discriminate based on relationship status, sexual orientation and/or gender identity.


How long do foster children stay in a foster home?

It depends on the particular child and parent's situation. Every effort is made to reunite parents and children appropriately; a child may live with a foster parent for a few days or for a year or more. Many foster parents grow close to the children in their care, which can make it difficult when a child leaves. When reunification with the child's birth family is not possible, however, adoption by the foster parent may be explored.

How do I become a foster parent?

Step 1: Contact the NAC Homefinding Department

Fill out a Foster Parent Inquiry Form and one of NAC's Homefinding Social Workers will be in contact shortly.

Step 2: Attend a Foster Parent Orientation

NAC holds monthly orientations at our offices on West 26th Street in Manhattan. During the Orientation, child welfare professionals will give you an overview of foster care at NAC and answer your questions. To attend an orientation session, contact the NAC Homefinding Department at (646) 367-8447 or (212) 696-1550, or via e-mail at

Step 3: Complete a Foster Parenting Application

After attending NAC's Foster Parent Orientation, you will need to fill out an application telling us more about you and your home.

Step 4: Have a Home Study Completed

The home study provides NAC with comprehensive information on your entire family which is needed to determine whether children can be placed in your home. You and the Homefinder will meet several times to complete the home study; various documents must be submitted, such as copies of birth certificates, income tax returns, and medical reports from your physician. Your home will also be inspected to verify that it meets licensing requirements, and, for all of the adults in the home, a check of criminal history and a history of indicated child abuse or neglect will be done. A home study can take up to several months.

Step 5: Complete Required Training

While the home study is underway, you will attend an 8 to 10-week, 30-hour Model Approach to Partnership in Parenting (MAPP) training.

Step 6: Become a Foster Parent

Upon the successful completion of your home study and training, you will become a certified foster parent.

Step 7: Take a Child Home

Once certified, you will begin to receive calls from NAC to place children in your home. If the match is right, the child or children will come to stay with you on either a short-term or long-term basis and a Social Worker will be assigned to work with the child or children and you.

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