Foster Care


Foster care provides a family life experience, in a licensed home, for a child removed from their own home due to abuse and neglect.  Foster parents are a critical part of the child welfare team. They support children in preparing them for reunification with their birth parents or for adoption.

Currently, there are roughly 400 children in Rural Nevada that are in foster care. Every day, more children and youth enter the foster care system and need safe, loving homes. Some of these children need a temporary place to stay while others need families willing to commit to their care for a lifetime. Without caring foster homes in each community of Rural Nevada, children removed from those areas must be placed in outlying communities, away from their family, friends, and everything that is familiar to them. 


    First, call the Rural Foster Care Recruiter at 888-423-2659.  The recruiter can answer your questions and even get you started on the licensing process over the phone! You can also learn more at

    For Washoe County visit Washoe County Human Services Agency

    For Clark County visit Clark County Department of Family Services


      • You can be single, married or in a domestic partnership
      • You can be a working or stay-at-home parent
      • You can choose the age-range and gender of child you are most comfortable parenting
      • You do not have to own your home to provide foster care
      • For family foster care, you can be licensed for one to six beds, depending on space availability
      • There are various types of care that may be more suitable for your specific situation:
        • Respite Care
        • Emergency Shelter Care
        • Short-term Care (under six months)
        • Long-term Care (over six months)
        • Adoption


        1. Foster/Adoptive Parent Inquiry - a short telephone interview done over the phone to collect basic information about why you are getting licensed
        2. Pre-screen Process - a Pre-screen Packet will be mailed to you with all your background check paperwork
        3. Training Requirement - a 27-hour training is required for primary caregivers and provided by the agency at no cost
        4. Application Process - on the last day of training, the Application Packet will be handed out for you to take home and complete
        5. Home Study/Home Inspection Process - once all your paperwork has been submitted to the agency and processed, a licensing worker will contact you to schedule your home study visits


          While there is typically no cost for a home study to be completed, there may be associated costs in getting your home ready for the home inspection.  Every licensed foster and adoptive home must be able to pass a yearly home/regulation inspection.  Please see the following list for some important items to consider regarding your home inspection:

          • Are windows in the foster child’s room accessible to exit in case of emergency  (NAC 424.370)? 

          • A designated bedroom for a foster child(ren) is required (NAC 424.375).

          • Are all of your electrical cords in the home in good condition?  Do you have protective plugs on all electrical outlets for foster children under the age of five years (NAC 424.395)?

          • You must have a fire extinguisher readily available on each level of the home and it must be the following rating: 2-A 10BC (5 lbs.).  Also, smoke detectors must be functional and mounted in each foster child’s bedroom and hallway immediately outside of their bedroom (NAC 424.400).

          • Each foster parent must have access to a telephone or cell phone in which to call in an emergency (NAC 424.410).

          • If you have any bodies of water on your property (i.e. a pool, hot tub, pond, large animal water trough, etc.), all primary caregivers must be CPR-certified (NAC 424.270.1).

            • All bodies of water on the property must be secured in such a way that they are covered and able to be locked, preventing access.
            • A fence with a locking gate must surround an in-ground/above-ground pool (NAC 424.420).

          • Medications (including over-the-counter) and poisons of any kind must be stored in a locked place (i.e. lockbox, safe, cabinet, etc.) (NAC 424.560).

          • Pets must be in good health and temperament and they must be up-to-date on their vaccinations with proof being provided to agency (NAC 424.590).

          • All weapons/firearms must be locked in a safe separate from ammunition that must also be locked up (NAC 424.600).  


            A home study consists of a series of interviews with all adults that live in the home, especially the primary caregivers.  It concludes with a written report that the licensing worker creates about your family.  It will include basic information drawn from interviews with your family and information provided by third parties.

            Here are some of the items that will be addressed with primary caregivers:

            • Family background
            • Education and employment
            • Relationships and social life
            • Daily life routines
            • Parenting Experiences
            • Details about your home and neighborhood
            • Readiness and reasons as to why you are getting licensed
            • Approval and recommendation of children your family can best parent

              Nevada Revised Statues (NRS) and Nevada Administrative Code (NAC) regarding Foster Homes