Becoming a Foster Parent

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


All kinds of people can make great foster parents.

Alberta’s foster parents are men and women. They are married, single, divorced or widowed, and come from all cultural backgrounds. They may be young families or empty nesters. They may rent or own their own home, 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. Contact your:
  2. Complete an application. Your application must be accompanied by:
    • three personal references
    • medical reference
    • criminal record check including vulnerable sector search
    • intervention record check
  3. After your application has been processed, 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. After completing orientation, you will need to have a home study completed. 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. Upon approval, you will be issued a foster home licence and assigned a foster care support worker who will provide ongoing support and training.


After you receive your licence, you will be able to have children placed in your home. Your foster care support worker will contact you when there is a child in need of a placement that may be a good match for you. You will be involved in determining whether or not a particular child is placed in your home.

Modified: 2012-11-16
PID: 15424