How Are Foster Parents Screened?

Safety Screening

Once a child welfare agency removes a child from the home, the child is typically placed in foster care. Foster parents are temporary caretakers of a child while permanent placement is being sought. Because children in foster care often have unique needs, foster parents are carefully screened and given training on how to care for a foster child. The screening process is thorough, and foster parents must meet several requirements before they are licensed as a resource family so a child can be placed with them.

Prospective foster parents and all adults who live in their household have to undergo a thorough criminal background and child abuse registry check. Detailed reference checks will be done on all household members, to include medical, educational, employment, and personal references. Their home must also be evaluated and given a life-safety inspection to make sure it is appropriate and safe for foster children, and interviews will be held with all members of the household. Comprehensive psychological evaluations will also be conducted. Foster parent(s) must also be:

  • Adults over 18
  • In good enough health to meet the needs of the foster child
  • Trained in how to be a foster parent
  • Able to provide a safe home and nurturing family environment
  • Able to make a commitment to caring for the child, and
  • Able to work with the greater child welfare system to ensure the safety of foster children

It is normal to worry about the safety and well-being of your child when he or she is in foster placement. Though New Jersey utilizes a screening process to ensure every child in foster placement will be well taken care of, there are weaknesses and oversights in the system. Sometimes children are not placed in appropriate homes. Speak with an experienced New Jersey child welfare attorney if your child is or may be placed in foster care. It is important that you understand your rights as a parent and can gain peace of mind over the safety of your child while in foster placement. An attorney can help you defend your rights and make sure your child’s best interests are protected.

If your child is in foster care, Williams Law Group, LLC can assist you. The skilled attorneys at Williams Law Group, LLC will help you navigate the child welfare case process while defending your right to be with your child. Located in Union, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get you connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.


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