Foster parents do some of the most important work in our state – helping ensure all Iowa children have safe, nurturing homes and caring adults to lift them up. Thank you for strengthening Iowa families. You are truly heroes!
In the event of a crisis, please contact your LSI Support Worker. Keep their contact information in a convenient and accessible place. If you need to report child abuse or neglect, please call the Iowa Department of Human Services child abuse hotline at 1.800.362.2178.
What is a crisis situation?
- Medical emergencies, whether with your foster child or another family member
- Inappropriate behavior from your foster child toward another family member
- Running away
- Substance abuse
- Aggression or destroying property
- Allegations or complaints made against your family
Respite care is also available for foster parents. To take good care of a child in foster care, you also need to take care of yourself! Talk to your LSI Support Worker to find a respite provider in your area.
Not sure how to reach your LSI Support Worker? Call us at 844.574.7787.
When does a renewal happen?
All foster families are issued a one-year license for the first two years of their licensure. After that, the state of Iowa can issue a two-year license for foster care and adoption updates.
Though foster care licenses and adoption approvals are renewed every two years, there are still some things that must happen annually, such as completing your required six hours of training and having an unannounced visit from your LSI Support Worker.
You will receive a letter when it’s time to start thinking about your renewal. You will get a checklist of all paperwork you will need to gather or sign, as well as reminders. Always feel free to contact your LSI Support Worker with any questions.
What training do I need to continue to be licensed?
You will need six hours of training each year, and three hours of this training must be in a group setting. Additionally, you must keep current certification in CPR and first aid training (every two years) and mandatory reporter training (once every five years after that).
Always feel free to contact your LSI Support Worker with any questions.
You may have questions about receiving your foster care license. Follow the steps below so you can get started on your foster parenting journey, stress- free!
- Complete the foster care inquiry form and email it to fosteradopt@LSIowa.org. If you need any assistance, call us at 844.574.7787
- Attend an Information Session. We’ll follow up with you by email, letter, or phone to connect you with LSI staff in your area. You do NOT need to fill out an Inquiry Form before attending an Information Session! Anyone interested in foster parenting is welcome to attend and learn more.
- Complete your paperwork and information session. Once you are scheduled for a session, you can start your paperwork. Fingerprinting is done at most sessions. If we don’t offer it at a session near you, you will be given fingerprint cards, instructions on where to get printed, and an envelope to return prints at your session.
- We process your application. After we receive your paperwork and fingerprints, we begin your record checks. All background checks must be clear of “hits” (criminal, child abuse, sex offender charges, convictions, or deferred judgments) or “hits” must be evaluated by DHS before moving on. This process takes about two weeks. If you are missing forms or have “hits,” it can take up to two months.
- Complete TIPS-MAPP training class. Once your background check is cleared, we call you to register for the next available TIPS-MAPP class in your area. This training takes place over 10 weeks. TIPS-MAPP stands for Trauma Informed Partnering for Permanence and Safety: Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting, and it is the curriculum approved by the state of Iowa for initial foster parent training.
- Complete the additional training required for licensure.This includes, face-to-face CPR and first aid training, medication management, universal precautions, mandatory reporter training on child abuse identification and reporting, and the reasonable and prudent parent standard training.
- LSI completes your home study. This generally takes 100 days (three months after starting your TIPS-MAPP training).
- DHS approves you as an adoptive home or issues you a foster care license (or both).This takes about 30 to 60 days, unless clarification is needed by DHS.
- Congratulations! LSI will send you a welcome packet with important information on your new journey as a foster family. Always contact your support worker for questions or concerns!