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Foster Care Information
First Steps Toward Fostering

Are you considering becoming a foster parent? You may wonder where to begin. The content below provides some first steps and introductory information.


Understanding Adoption & Foster Care

Part 1: Understanding Adoption and Foster Care
Part 2: How Does a Child in Foster Care Become Eligible for Adoption? 
Part 3: How Do You Become A Foster Parent?
Part 4: Should I Adopt Through Foster Care or a Private Agency?


Caregiver Types (Defined by GA DFCS)

You and your family should collectively decide which caregiving role is the most
suitable for you. Your local agency is also available for guidance.

Partnership Parents

Foster Parents are often referred to as Partnership Parents. Partnership Parenting is a shared parenting model between caregivers and birth parents. The goal of partnership parenting is to keep birth parents connected and involved with parenting their children, while their children are in out-of-home placements. "Caregiver” is used to collectively refer to all Resource Parent types, including those who serve through Child Placing Agencies (CPA’s).

Relative Partnership Parents

Relative Partnership Parents (RPPs) are Resource Parents related by blood, marriage, or adoption to children placed in their home. They provide temporary homes for their relative’s children who are in foster care. They may also serve non-relative children. (Typically referred to as a Fictive-Kin placement). RPPs follow the same approval process as regular PPs and have all the benefits and responsibilities associated with being a PP, including full foster care per diem reimbursement. RPPs have the same expectations as PPs.

Adoptive Parents

Adoptive Parents are “forever families” who make a lifelong commitment to a child. They serve children whose birth parents’ parental rights have been voluntarily surrendered or terminated by a court, thus making the children legally free for adoption. Adoptive Parents may also be relatives in which case they are called Relative Adoptive Parents.

Adoptive Parent-Legal Risk Parents

Adoptive Parent-Legal Risk Parents are adoptive parents who accept for placement children who are not completely legally free for adoption and thus, legal risk exists in accepting the placement.


Resource Parents

Resource Parents (RPs) are a hybrid of a Resource Parent and an adoptive parent. They act as both a PP (temporary foster care placement) and are willing to become the adoptive parent (permanent family) for the child. Children placed with RPs have a concurrent permanency plan, meaning that two permanency goals are being pursued simultaneously. At least one of the permanency goals is adoption with the RP named as the permanency resource. RPs must be able to concurrently fulfill the roles of being a PP and an adoptive parent. A RP may also
be a relative in which case they are called Relative Resource Parents.


Interstate Compact-related

The Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) is the mandatory legal process the county agency uses to place a child from one state to another for purposes of foster care and/or adoption. It was enacted to ensure protection and services for foster children that are placed across state lines. Caregivers serving children through the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) are known as ICPC-Partnership Parents, ICPC- Adoptive Parents, ICPC-Relative Partnership Parents and ICPC-Relative Adoptive Parents.

Muscogee & Harris Counties, GA

The process of becoming a licensed foster parent in the state of Georgia begins with IMPACT training — 30 hours of training led by local DFCS offices. However, before you can begin IMPACT, you will need to attend a mandatory Foster Parent Orientation session. Attending Orientation does not commit you to fostering, but it may answer many of the questions you may have. At Orientation, you will also learn when the next IMPACT training will be held.


Foster Care Orientation (Muscogee & Harris)

Information Session Webinars are held virtually the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays.  Please complete the Inquiry Form and you will be contacted within 1-3 business days with a registration link. GA DFCS Inquiry Form Or, you can contact Ms. Mary Norwood at


GA State Requirements*

Must be at least 21 years of age
Must complete a 2 hour orientation in the local county office or via the internet
Must successfully complete pre-service IMPACT Family Centered Practice training
Must complete a medical exam, finger print checks, as well as undergo both child welfare and criminal records checks/screenings. If you or any other adult household members (over age 18) have not been a resident of Georgia for a minimum of 5 years, you must be screened in the Child Abuse and Neglect registry of each state of prior residence
Must provide proof of current residence and financial stability

**Private Agencies may require additional steps

Local Placement and Adoption Agencies
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