Child Foster Care Licensing

Health and Human Services

Foster care is a safe place to be if a child can not live with their own family or on their own. Children enter foster care because of neglect, abuse, a family crisis or the child’s acting out at home. Foster parents help children feel good again by providing them with stability, affection, consistency and nurturing. Sometimes a relative or someone the child knows can be his or her foster parent.

Foster care is temporary, it is not meant to be forever. Children usually continue to visit their own parents/caregivers until they are reunited. While the child is out of the home, Children’s Services is working to provide services so the child can return to his parents/caregivers.

If this is not possible, family members and other persons important to the child are contacted to find a permanent home for the child. Sometimes foster families are asked to, accept a transfer of legal custody, adopt a child in their care, or to provide permanent foster care.


  • You need to be at least 21
  • You must live in Pine County
  • You need to have enough income to meet your own needs
  • You should be one year from a major life change such as a marriage, divorce, birth of a first child or a significant loss.
  • You must be free of chemical use problems for at least two years
  • You must be willing to give us permission to check social service and court records.
  • Your home must have at least two bedrooms.
  • You must be willing to participate in regular training.
  • You must be willing to provide for the child’s basic and special needs, including transportation, medical appointments, and school meetings.
  • You must be willing to work with the child’s social worker and to support the child’s relationship with their family.

If you are interested in pursuing foster care licensing, please call intake at 320-591-1581 to sign up for an orientation session.

Upcoming dates:

  • April 13, 2023
  • June 8, 2023
  • August 10, 2023
  • October 12, 2023
  • December 14, 2023

Orientations are held from 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm virtually via Microsoft Teams.

In order to attend you must call the number above to register.


Foster Care Licensing requires each provider to complete a certain number of initial and on-going training hours.  Provided are video trainings that are approved and can be used to complete these training requirements.  Each video training is listed below and has a short description of what is included.  In order to receive credit for this training opportunity, each provider must watch the video/videos provided, follow along with the given information packet (power point) and then complete the self-test.  The completed self-test must be returned to your licensing social worker.

 Pre-License Training

Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Syndrome (SUID) & Abusive Head Trauma (AHT) – required prior to license

Child foster providers caring for infants or children through 5 years of age must be instructed and receive training on SUID/AHT at least once every 5 years.

 Watch approved videos here.

  • Complete the SUID/AHT Video Training Verification and submit to your licensing social worker.  Click here to get form.


Children’s Mental Health (CMH) –required prior to license

This video training is presented by Deena McMahon. This video defines mental health and specifically addresses how it impacts children’s development. This training will meet the Children’s Mental Health Training requirement for foster care initial and on-going training.

Watch the Children’s Mental Health video.  Click to access link


Normalcy and Reasonable & Prudent Parent Standard Training- required prior to license

The Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act amended Title IV-E, requiring states to support normalcy for all children in foster care. Children and youth in foster care need to experience the same types of developmentally appropriate social activities that their friends, family, and classmates who are not in foster care experience. This new law encourages foster parents to allow foster children to participate in normal childhood activities by applying the reasonable and prudent parent standard.

Watch the Normalcy and Reasonable & Prudent Parent Standard Training video.

Car Seat Training- required prior to license when caring for children under 9 years of age

In Minnesota, three out of four child seats are used incorrectly. Many parents and caregivers aren’t aware of the restraint steps a child should progress through as they grow and age. A vehicle is the most dangerous place for children, and crashes are the leading killer of children under 14. Children are best protected in the rear seat. After training is complete, submit certificate to your licensing social worker.  This training must be completed at least once every 5 years.

Please visit the Minnesota Child Passenger Safety Training website for information on registering for a class.

Ongoing Training

Once you complete your application and have been successfully licensed with Pine County, you will be required to complete 12 hours of annual training, which includes 1 hour of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder training and 1 hour of a children’s mental health topic. Courses are offered online and through various organizations. Some training opportunities are listed below. All certificates should be turned into your licensing social worker for credit.

Click for training on:

Additional Training Resources: