From Our Community

We know that stepping into foster care is a significant decision, and one no one makes lightly. There can be a lot of questions you may have, and you might not know where to begin, but you’re not alone! The mission of Every Child Indiana is to be a guide, a resource, and a support system for potential foster parents.

In the Hoosier state there are over 8,600 children in foster care (as of November 1st, 2023). Every Child Indiana is dedicated to increasing the number of available homes to fit the different needs of the children who are in care and keeping kids in their schools and communities, whenever possible. Across Indiana, there is a need for homes for teens, siblings, and children with specialized needs.

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There is no such thing as a perfect parent, which means there is no such things as a perfect foster parent! Together, we believe there is a strategic family for every child entering foster care in Indiana. We are looking for a diverse group of people who can care for the unique needs of each child in foster care, such as:

Hoosier children in foster care are as diverse as Indiana. Children who love basketball and superheroes, who love animals and want a dog of their own. They love art and singing Taylor Swift at the top of their lungs. They yearn to connect with their family while holding complicated emotions about their experiences.

And they ALL deserve — and need — healthy attachment and connection.

The children entering foster care in Indiana are often siblings, often older kids (12+), and have often experienced complex trauma. As a result of what they’ve walked through, they have individualized needs and often need extra support. And they need a robust village who will fight for them!

It’s important to think about your home, your family, and your capacity when considering foster care. Foster care is not for everyone, but for those who feel called to be there for children in need, it can be a rewarding and life-changing experience.

Foster Care FAQS

All children entering foster care are placed with a foster parent, also known as a resource parent, through a private agency or the Department of Child Services (DCS) in the state of Indiana, and the goal is to place children in the least-restrictive, most family-like setting that meets the child’s needs. Every Child Indiana is working to have more than enough homes across the state so that children can be placed with foster parents in their school district and community! 

The children who most often need a foster home are teens, siblings or children with more complex needs. That said, children in foster care in Indiana include infants, toddlers, preschoolers, school-age youth and teenagers, and they come from diverse backgrounds, cultures and families. They are like other children, each with their own special personality, abilities, interests and potential. These children may have higher needs related to their experiences, including the trauma, grief and loss of being removed from the care of their families.  

The primary needs for foster homes in Indiana are for older youth, children with more complex needs and for sibling groups, ensuring siblings can stay together. Indiana also has a great need for African American, Native American and Latino foster families. All that said, Indiana has a high need for foster (resource) families, so there is a need for YOU!

Foster (resource) parents help support families during a difficult time. They work as a team with the child’s case worker to ensure the well-being of the child in their care by providing a safe, stable and nurturing home environment for children in their care. Foster (resource) parents love, celebrate, mentor, coach, comfort, support and encourage the child/children in their home as they provide for their day-to-day needs, and they provide a positive influence across the community.

The agency you work with will determine how many children would be appropriate to place with you based on your own circumstances and preferences. State guidelines specify that a foster family home cannot provide supervision and care for more than six individuals at once. No more than four of the individuals may be children who are younger than 6 years of age. However, this is a decision that you and your agency will make together, as you will be approved to take a certain number of children in your home.

Foster parents are volunteers who receive a monthly stipend for expenses related to the care of the child/children in their home.  A monthly per diem is provided to foster parents to cover the needs of the child/children in their care. Per diem rates vary according to the needs of the child.

In Indiana, foster parents must be licensed. To become licensed as a foster parent, you must be at least 21 years of age and meet the following requirements: 

  • Attend at least 20 hours of pre-service training 
  • Demonstrate financial stability 
  • Complete an environmental inspection of your home and pass safety standards 
  • Provide medical statements for all household members 
  • Demonstrate emotional stability, and  
  • Complete a home study with the licensing agency 

Child Protection Services History checks are required for all household members age 6 and older, and background checks are required for household members age 14 and older, including fingerprinting for all household members age 18 and older. Once all requirements are met, licenses are approved through DCS or through private Licensed Child Placing Agencies.

Every Child Indiana is a collaborative community initiative designed to connect Hoosiers to meet the needs of our state’s most vulnerable children. More than 30 organizations have collaborated to form Every Child Indiana with a commitment to work together to ensure more than enough foster parents exist to support children and families in our state. In addition to mobilizing the community to support the foster care system in Indiana, we are a recruitment partner for foster parents of the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS). 

In partnership with DCS, Every Child Indiana aims to provide love, care and support for vulnerable children and families in our state. Every Child Indiana is a resource to help you connect with the right people in your community to begin the foster parent licensing process.  

As you consider taking the next steps, we understand you have important questions. It is important to recognize that the answers above serve as a guide but are not meant to encompass all information regarding foster parenting or the certification process. We’re here to help answer questions and identify the best route for you and your family!

Indiana Illustration

Every Child mobilizes community to uplift children & families impacted by foster care in Indiana.