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Fostering Provides a Loving Home to a Child In Need



Last year, nearly 1000 children in CHFS foster care were adopted and more than 80 percent were adopted by their foster families. When children have experienced abuse or neglect and must be separated from their parents or other relatives, they are most often placed in the temporary and safe care of approved foster parents. Foster parents have been trained to nurture children who have experienced trauma and working partnership with birth families.

While children are in temporary foster care, the main goal of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) is to reunify the child(ren) with their birth parents as soon as the parents have received services to provide a safe and stable home. While working toward the goal of reunification, the child’s worker will complete a relative search and possibly place the child with relatives. The main focus is for children to have a permanent home, where they can be healthy in mind, body and spirit.

More than 8,000 children are currently in CHFS foster care.​


9 Steps to Being Approved



Call 1-800-232-KIDS or your local Department for Community Based Services Office.


Share Your Info

Share your information with DCBS staff. Tell us about your family, why you want to foster or adopt, and how you heard about us.


Receive Information

The informational packet can be obtained from the provided link on this website or we are happy to mail the packet upon request.


Attend Meeting

Attend two-hour informational meeting. Receive in-depth information, ask questions, get answers and begin paperwork.


Begin Application

Begin family application process and home visits. Download SNAP application.


Attend Training

Begin pre-service training. Complete paperwork, with staff help. Complete home study.


Become Approved

You will receive a certification letter when you are approved as a foster / adoptive parent.


Welcome Children

Children are placed depending on their needs. Receive peer support from experienced parents.


Receive Continuing Benefits

These include: ongoing training, medical card for child, child care assistance, child counseling services, respite care, tuition assistance, foster/adoptive mentors and support services.

Why are children placed in foster care?

There are several reasons why a child may need to be placed in a foster home:

  • Some birth parents simply aren’t able to give appropriate physical and emotional care or appropriate supervision.
  • Some families have temporary crises, like health problems or loss of income and housing.
  • Some parents have serious parenting problems because of drug abuse, mental illness or other conditions.
  • Some birth parents voluntarily place their children for adoption.

Adoption from foster care

In some cases children may not be able to be reunified with their parents or placed with relatives. The courts may terminate the parents' rights and legally free the child for adoption. This can be a lengthy process. Through adoption, many foster parents choose to become the permanent and legal adoptive parents of children who have been in their approved foster homes. A temporary situation (foster care) then becomes a step forward to a permanent and lifelong commitment (adoption).


Interested in adoption from foster care?

Adopting through Kentucky's fostering system is achieved through our Special Needs Adoption Program (SNAP).

Learn More

Regional Contact Info

Contact your local agency to start the process of becoming a foster care family and to learn more about adoption through fostering.

Kentucky Foster Parent Handbook

The Kentucky Foster Parent Handbook gives practical information as well as guidance ​to making decisions regarding the care of the children in out of home care.

When Your Child is removed from your care handbook

The When Your Child is Removed from Your Care Handbook is an informational guide for families with currently active child welfare cases and whose children have been placed in foster care.

Frequently Asked Questions