How to become a foster parent begins with contacting a state agency or an organization that can put you in contact with a state agency, such as the National Foster Parent Association.
The process of becoming a foster parent depends on your state's foster regulations. Generally, foster parents will need to be at least 21 years old. They will also need to apply and pass a home study. Foster parents also must pass various background checks and should provide letters of reference that attest to their character and ability to be a good foster parent. With the exception of Oregon, Virginia and Wisconsin, every state has a mandatory number of foster training required of a foster parent before he or she can provide foster services. New York has no specified amount of mandatory hours, but they can span between 6 and 45 in all other states. The majority of states keep it between 24 and 30 hours of foster parent training.
The training courses are mostly statewide curricula, but many states also require CPR and First Aid certification as well as blood born pathogens courses in states such as Washington.
To become a foster parent requires a certain level of understanding of the kind of agreement that foster parents enter into with the state. Foster parents do not have parental rights over a child's well being and must learn to let go of the child when his or her time comes for adoption or reunion with his or her birth family.