Becoming a Foster Parent - Alberta Human Services - Government of Alberta

Becoming a Foster Parent

We need more families who can provide safe, stable and caring homes for children in care.


All kinds of people can make great foster parents:

  • men and women
  • married, single, divorced or widowed
  • from all cultural backgrounds
  • young families or empty nesters
  • may rent or own their own home
  • may be retired or employed outside the home.

If you meet the following criteria, you can apply be a foster parent:

  • You must be a resident of Alberta.
  • Cohabitating applicants must have been in a stable relationship for at least 12 months prior to applying.
  • You must be at least 18 years old. The maximum age will be determined by the best interests of the child.
  • You have not had an additional child in the past 12 months and/or are not currently expecting an additional child thorough pregnancy or adoption.
  • You must be physically and mentally capable of meeting the child’s needs with no major illness or trauma in the past 12 months.
  • You need to have your own residence (with your own address) separate and apart from other caregivers.


  1. Initial contact to get a worker who will be assigned to help you through the process
  2. Application including:
    • three personal references
    • medical reference
    • criminal record check including vulnerable sector search
    • intervention record check
  3. Training: You will need to attend 24 hours of caregiver orientation. These classes will give you an overview of what to expect when caring for a foster child, such as child development, special needs of children in care and supports provided to foster parents as well as help you decide if fostering will be a good fit for you and your family.
  4. Home Study: The home study determines if the applicant can provide a safe and suitable home for children and addresses a variety of topics such as family history, parenting skills and home safety.
  5. Licensing: Upon approval, you will be issued a foster home licence and assigned a foster care support worker who will provide ongoing support and training.

Frequently asked questions

Modified: 2016-05-05
PID: 15424