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Today's Family Magazine

Fostering a child (Cuyahoga County)

Cuyahoga County children need your help.  There are more than 2,000 children in DCFS custody through no fault of their own.  Victims of abuse and/or neglect, some may need special care or attention to help them deal with the impact of trauma in their young lives.  Each of these children needs and deserves a family who will love and protect them, but there is a shortage of homes and facilities across Ohio. You can help by becoming a foster or adoptive parent. 

What is foster care?

  • A protective service for children and families.
  • Full-time care of children, usually on a temporary basis.
  • Typically results in family reunification or a permanent, adoptive home.

Who are the children needing foster care?

  • Children who have experienced physical abuse, neglect or abandonment; or whose parent(s) are in jail or hospitalized.
  • All ages, races, and cultures.
  • Some may have physical, developmental, emotional, and/or behavioral issues.
  • Many have experienced extreme trauma and deprivation.

What do foster parents do?

  • Provide basic daily care and supervision.
  • Act in the place of the parent, making sure all needs are met.
  • Take children to medical and therapy appointments.
  • Apply nonphysical discipline techniques that are fair and age appropriate.
  • Advocate for the child and participate in Child and Family Services meetings.
  • Support children in their visitation plan with their biological families or prospective adoptive families.
  • Supports either reunification or an alternate plan.
  • Stays up-to-date on training.
  • Respect the culture, race, and background of the children and their families.

What are the requirements to become a foster parent?

  • At least 21 years of age.
  • Have sufficient income to meet their own basic needs.
  • Be in good physical, emotional, and mental health.
  • Single or part of a couple --homosexual or heterosexual -- in a stable relationship for at least one year.
  • No educational or religious requirements and home ownership is not necessary.

Is there help to foster?

  • Boarding expenses, reimbursed at a daily rate.
  • Monthly clothing allowance.
  • A medical card for medical, dental, and therapeutic services.
  • Car mileage reimbursement for necessary transportation of foster children.
  • Support groups, scheduled visits, 24-hour access to the agency, and a wide range of supportive services.

To learn more about fostering or adopting contact Cuyahoga County Division of Child & Family Services at 216-881-5775 or submit an interest form on their website at