Become a Foster Parent


Thank you for your interest in becoming a DCS Foster Parent and providing care for children in need of safety and security.

First, consider if you are eligible. Do you meet the initial criteria?

You must be able to:

  • Give without the expectation of immediate returns;
  • Have room in your home and in your daily life;
  • Learn and use proven behavioral management skills;
  • Love and care for children with problems;
  • Support birth families and help a child return home.

Foster Parents can be: 

  • Single or Married 
  • With, or without, children of their own.

Minimum Requirements:

  • At least 21 years of age;
  • Must be fingerprinted and pass a background check;
  • Participate in an Informational Meeting;
  • Must complete a training program called TN-KEY;
  • Participate in a Home Study;
  • Provide documentation of a sufficient income;
  • Complete a health exam;

DCS carefully assesses all applicants and the department also provides the opportunity for prospective Foster Parents to work with a case manager to assess themselves before they accept the role of Foster Parent.

Still interested? If so, here is what is next:

Select and complete the inquiry form for potential foster parents.  If you have questions before beginning this process, please indicate this in the comment section of the inquiry form or leave a message at our toll-free number, 1-877-DCS-KIDS. 

A DCS representative will contact you to answer any questions before processing your inquiry. After your inquiry has been processed, staff will assist you in registering for a required introduction to foster care Information Meeting.

Foster parent applicants can contact the DCS Customer Relations Unit at any point during the foster home approval process to discuss concerns regarding their application.

DCS Customer Relations Unit
Toll-Free: 1-800-861-1935