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Training for Potential Foster Parents

How to Become a TN DCS Foster Parent
  1. Fill out and submit the Inquiry Form for Potential Foster Parents at or call 877-DCS-KIDS and leave a message. 
  2. DCS will call within five business days to discuss minimal requirements and answer questions. 
  3. Prospective foster parents will attend a required Informational Meeting and complete the self-assessment. 
  4. If the prospective foster family is still interested, complete TN KEY pre-service training. 
  5. The Home Study process begins during training and will include extensive criminal history check and other paperwork and will provide a recommendation for approval or denial. 
  6. If approved, the foster home will be assigned a Foster Parent Support Worker and will be ready to accept placements.

Click here to download or print a copy of this chart.

Thank you for your interest in serving the children of Tennessee. Foster parents in Tennessee play a key role in the futures of the children and families they encounter. Whether providing temporary support or a permanent home, foster parents help to strengthen families and provide children in care a safe environment where they know they are important and loved.

To prepare for your role as foster parent, you will learn effective tools and parenting methods to work with and guide the children who are welcomed into your family and to gain an understanding of the different challenges faced by children who come into state custody.

Through the pre-approval training TN KEY (Knowledge Empowers You), you will learn how foster parents work with DCS to improve the lives of children, information about current DCS policies on caring for children in custody, and ultimately if foster parenting is right for you. Whether you want to provide a temporary home for children in need or have the ultimate goal of adoption, TN KEY training will help prepare you for the unique challenges and rewards of becoming a foster parent.

If you are interested in becoming a Foster Parent for Tennessee's children, please call toll-free 1-877-DCS-KIDS (1-877-327-5437) or visit Tennessee Fosters for more information.

View the calendar for upcoming TN KEY groups in your region and register via the links or phone numbers provided.

Before registering for an Informational Meeting, first complete the foster parent inquiry form by clicking  the button above.

The Informational Meeting is designed to help potential foster parents make an informed decision about whether they would like to continue with the training process to become a foster parent. Click the button above to register.

Following the Informational Meeting, participants who choose to continue with the process of becoming a foster parent will need to complete TN KEY pre-approval training. Click the button above to view the calendar and register for an upcoming TN KEY group. 

In addition to the primary TN KEY modules, foster parent applicants must also complete training in Medication Administration and CPR and First Aid. Training dates for these classes for each TN KEY group are listed on the TN KEY calendar linked in Step 3 above. Click the Medication Administration and CPR and FIrst Aid buttons above to register for trainings on the specified dates.

Home study begins during training and will include extensive criminal history check and other paperwork and will provide a recommendation on approval or denial. If approved, your home will be assigned a Foster Parent Support Worker, and you will be ready to accept placements.

The videos linked below are shown during TN KEY training. Use these links if you encounter difficulty viewing these videos during training or if you would like to refer back to these topics.