How to Become a Foster Parent

Every child needs a different kind of foster parent. Here at FCS, we work to count people in, not out, as foster parents. Reach out to learn more about fostering today.

What Are the of Foster Care Rewards?

As a foster parent, you will experience daily rewards. The most powerful reward is the difference you are making in the life of a child and in his or her family. As the foster parent, you are the primary agent for change for the child. While there will be many people on your team supporting you and the child every step of the way, you are ultimately the primary support for the child through his/her journey to achieving permanency. As this support person, you are not only impacting the child, but also his/her family. The rewards of helping a child and family reunite, or helping a child achieve permanency in other ways (i.e. adoption, independent living, etc.) are immeasurable.

Who Can Be a Foster Parent?

In order to be a foster parent in the state of Virginia, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be at least 21 years old. You can be single or married.

  • Have a safe and clean home environment and a steady income.

  • Have reliable transportation and the flexibility to transport foster children to important appointments (i.e. medical appointments, biological family visits, etc.).

  • Complete child abuse and criminal background checks with satisfactory results.

  • Foster home must pass Fire and Health inspections and must have adequate bedroom space for a foster child.

  • Must complete 27 hours of pre-service training provided by FCSVA.

  • Must undergo a home study completed by FCSVA.

Interested in fostering, but not sure you meet the criteria? Give us a call! We work with you every step of the way, so that if you want to become a foster parent we try our very best to help you become one!

Download Foster Parent Application Today!

What is the First Step?

You have made the first step! You’ve begun to research and determine what will be the best route for you to take in your goal to serve children and families. Now it is time to learn more about what it means to be a therapeutic foster parent, and what it will mean to be a part of For Children’s Sake. The next step will be to attend a “no-strings-attached” foster parent orientation to learn more about being a foster parent, about the requirements, and about the process towards becoming approved. Contact us electronically at, or call us at (703) 817-9890, to speak with our staff and set up a time for an orientation.

How to Become a Foster Parent

FCS works at whatever pace works for you, providing quality training and support as you begin the process of welcoming a child in your home.


Step 1

You call us and we set up a meeting to discuss FCS, our policies, and how we best fit together to match your family’s fostering expectations.


Step 2

You’re given an application at the end of orientation. Once received, the staff will look over the application, call with any questions, and follow up with references.


Step 3

Parent’s Resource for Information, Development and Education (PRIDE) training program through FCS. This is a 27 hour training, with scheduling based on your needs.

Home Study

Step 4

Our staff will reach out to schedule your home study, where we come to your home at least three times to interview you, your family, and verify that your house is up to regulation.


Step 5

Our staff will reach out to schedule your home study, where we come to your home at least three times to interview you, your family, and verify that your house is up to regulation.


“These kids come in broken and many times we “fix” them to some degree. Just knowing that each child in my home felt loved and safe, even for those brief moments, was and remains to be the reason of why this is worth it.”

-Ray Ferguson, FCS Foster Father

“My foster parents helped me find my forever family.”

-Webb Family, FCS Foster Family

“My foster family they are really cool. I really like them. There is no difference in the family between us. They see me as their little sister, big sister, granddaughter, and daughter.”

-M, FCS Foster Youth

“Being a foster parent is not an easy job, I will not lie to you, but it is rewarding at the end. I feel happy when a child returns home to their parents that have followed all obstacles to get their child or children back. Whether that is parents rehabilitation, parenting classes, which teaches to help their child be safe, or getting therapy for themselves before they are allowed to have their children. My goal is for a child to return home, or continue with skills to become a responsible adult in this society. It warms my heart to know I have done a good job to help them. They key is patience and no remorse for helping our children. You have to remind the children daily, “I am here for you”

-Annette, FCS Foster Mother

“I’m inspired by my dad…because he has shown me the kind of person I want to become as a young man. The first thing that inspires me is he is in the Army. He is a Chief and he teaches soldiers. Another example is that he plays video games with the children and he is a good foster dad. My foster dad is good to me by speaking the truth and teaching me to be respectful. In conclusion, he has patience and is helpful. This is why I look up to him as an honorable role model.”

-C, FCS Foster Youth

“I have had 4 different long-term foster placements in my home during this time. Each of the young men had various issues and needs. When I look at the different experiences I had with each of them I feel good about what I am doing and have done as a foster parent. There are times when you have to ask yourself, “is this worth it?” Why am I putting up with this mess my own children could never get away with? Am I crazy? No, I’m not crazy, but these kids are going to drive me insane. Then you step back and look at the potential each child has, how they’ve grown, and the opportunities that are now before them all because we opened our homes and gave them love and stability.”

-Ryan Ferguson, FCS Foster Father

“I know that I am safe and loved in foster care.”

-Anonymous, FCS Foster Youth

“It was what I wanted in a family. I love my foster mom and my sisters.”

-A, FCS Foster Youth