Foster Care Requirements & Qualifications

Are You Qualified to Become a Foster Parent in Ohio?

We provide you with all the tools, training, and support you need as you prepare to open your heart and your home to a child. We currently serve 14 Northeast Ohio counties.

To become a Pathway foster or foster-to-adopt parent, you must meet all the general requirements and qualifications for foster parents listed below.

  • At least 21 years old
  • U.S. Citizen
  • Single, married, divorced, or widowed
  • A family with or without children
  • A renter or a homeowner
  • Able to pass a criminal background check
  • Able to provide financially for your family’s present needs
  • Able to physically, mentally, and emotionally care for a child
  • Complete Pre-Service Training and Continuing Training upon licensure

Pathway Pre-Service Training is a 28-hour program that consists of classroom sessions. You will be required to attend additional hours of training if you are not qualified to be a Specialized Treatment Parent. The classes are led by a team of trainers, one of whom is an experienced foster parent. This training was developed so that foster parent candidates may begin to understand how foster children have been affected by their troubled backgrounds.

Class participants learn the importance of working as a team with social workers, schools and counselors for the benefit of the child. The behavior management skills that are taught help foster parents form realistic expectations and help them to deal with the child’s behavior more effectively.

Qualities of a Good Foster Parent

In becoming a foster parent in Ohio, you need three qualities: Time, Self-Sacrifice and Dedication.

Beyond those, here are some of the qualities that Pathway Case Managers feel make a GREAT foster parent:

  • Having reasonable expectations and meeting a child where they are at
  • The ability to create an enriching lifestyle for the children in the home
  • Being a good team player by consulting with case managers when issues arise
  • Offering some normalization for a child by integrating them into the foster family
  • Allowing them experiences outside of the foster home when appropriate
  • Supporting biological family relationships and engaging when appropriate
  • Self-motivating
  • Successfully handling transitions and helping children do the same


Pathway offers dual licensure, which means that when you are licensed as a foster caregiver, you are approved for adoption as well. You can foster-to-adopt, which means you accept a child as a foster placement with the plan of adopting the child at a later time.

Pathway also offers ongoing post-adoption support services, which help both families and adopted children to understand the special problems and issues specific to adoption. These services are available to all families and are designed to give the kind of support needed to help the family maintain its commitment to be a “forever” family.

Fill out the inquiry form on this page to learn more!

Guide to Foster Care

Have more questions about becoming a Pathway Caring for Children foster parent in Ohio? Download our informational packet or check out our FAQ page for more information.