Human Services of Faribault & Martin Counties

Jen Nelson, Child Foster Care Licensor

Child Foster Care

General Information

What is Child Foster Care?

An individual/family (licensed by the county) who is willing and able to temporarily care for another family’s child (under 18 years of age), by providing that child with a safe home, food, water, bed, bedroom, storage for personal belongings, and other necessities. The child will be cared for by the foster family until the child can be reunited with his/her birth family or permanent placement has been arranged.

Roles and Responsibilities of Being a Foster Family

  • Work closely with FMCHS, such as Child Protection workers and the Licensor
  • Comply with Child Foster Care Licensing Requirements
  • Provide confidentiality of the foster children and their families (past, present, and future foster children)
  • Treat the foster child as a member of the family
  • Ensure the foster child’s medical, mental, dental, vision, and educational needs are met
  • Support the foster child’s connection/visitation with his/her birth family
  • Advocate for the foster child
  • Provide the foster child with structure, routine, and a safe, healthy life
  • Only accept foster children placed by Faribault and Martin Counties Human Services
  • Cooperate and participate with the foster child’s case plan
  • Respect the foster child’s background (history, religion, race, culture, sexual orientation)
  • Report to FMCHS of any plans to move or change of household members, prior to the move/change
  • Abide by the Discipline Policy (see “Forms”)
  • Participate in training and educational opportunities
  • Foster parents are mandated reporters

Basic Requirements of Applicants

  • Reside in Faribault or Martin Counties
  • Cooperate with the FMCHS
  • Have patience
  • Applicant(s) and household members must pass a background check
  • Must be at least 21 years of age
  • Can be single, married, divorced, widowed
  • Have children of their own or no children
  • Must be able to meet the basic needs of a foster child
  • Provide appropriate sleep space to foster children:
    • A separate bed/crib provided to each foster child
    • Bedrooms must have 2 exits
  • Applicants can own or rent their home
  • Must be responsible and financially stable
  • Have reliable transportation
  • Be flexible and adaptable
  • Provide a smoke-free environment to foster children

Licensing Process

  • Applicants must complete the required paperwork and return it to the Licensor
  • Applicants and household members 18+ must get fingerprinted
  • A background check must be passed by applicants and household members 13+
  • Pre-training and orientation must be completed prior to licensing
  • The Licensor will have visits with the applicant(s) in their home
  • The Licensor will complete a home study with the information provided by the applicant(s)

Additional Information


MN Dept of Human Services

MN Statues and Rules

Misc Resources


Each applicant is required to have 12 hours of training per licensing year (example: if you get licensed in October, then the next 12 months is one licensing year). Applicants are responsible for keeping track of their training hours and collecting proof of attendance or training certificates. The licensor will verify trainings at relicensing visits.

Children's Mental Health (CMH) (2 hours of CMH is required prior to licensure, then 1 hour annually thereafter)

Abusive Head Trauma (AHT) and Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) (required prior to licensure; retaken every 5 years)

MN Child Passenger Safety (car seat training) (required prior to licensure; retaken every 5 years)

Contact the Licensor regarding the next scheduled class, or search the following link.

Normalcy and Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standard (required prior to licensure)


Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) (1 hour annually)

Trauma Informed Care

Psychotropic Medication

Recognizing and Reporting Suspected Child Abuse

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)



Attention and Behavior Disorders

Keeping Families Together

Juvenile Court and Child Protection Proceedings

Foster Care Video/Book Training Questionnaire

Additional Training Resources


The following forms are for initial and renewal licensure, unless stated otherwise.  Additional required forms will be given to applicants after fully completing and returning the following forms, with the exception of the forms completed by the licensor. 

Contact Jen Nelson, Child Foster Care Licensor if you need additional information -


Rapid Resouces Menu
Rapid Resources
  Minnesota Department of Human Services eDOCS
  Minnesota Department of
Human Services
  Minnesota Child Support Online
  Minnesota Department of Health
  City of Fairmont, Minnesota
  City of Blue Earth, Minnesota
  State of Minnesota
  Martin County, Minnesota
  Faribault County, Minnesota
  Employee Portal


Copyright © 2010 Human Services of Faribault & Martin Counties. All Rights Reserved.   Website design by Electra-Sketch Studios