If you suspect child abuse, call our 24/7 Hotline   |   419-213-2273 (CARE)

When children cannot remain in their own homes due to abuse and neglect concerns, and a kinship/relative placement is not available, foster care is the next least restrictive living arrangement for youth involved with LCCS. Although foster care is considered a temporary situation, it is a full time commitment.

Children entering foster care have experienced some kind of trauma. Foster care ensures that children’s basic needs are met on a daily basis. Children live with a foster parent or family until their parents or appropriate kin are able to safely resume parenting responsibilities. For children who cannot return to their birth family, LCCS may take permanent custody, and the children remain in foster care until an adoptive family is found. The length of placement varies with each child’s family circumstances.

During the time children live with a foster family, caseworkers will have monthly visits to monitor their progress and to ensure that caregivers have the training and resources they need. LCCS provides one caseworker for the child’s family, and another who assists the foster parent in their parenting role. Foster parents will receive a monthly stipend that reimburses them for meeting the basic needs of the foster children placed in their home, but you must have current documentation to verify that your income meets your family’s needs. Foster children also receive periodic clothing vouchers, and medical and dental coverage for their health needs. LCCS nurses monitor the health services of each child in foster care. Children in foster care visit weekly with their parents at LCCS Family Visits or other suitable locations.

When children are able to return home, it is LCCS’ expectation that foster parents help birth families make the transition by modeling good parenting skills and helping children adjust to their reunified family. Some foster parents remain resources to birth families, and maintain lifelong connections.

The Need

LCCS needs foster parents to be as diverse as the children we have coming into care. We just require that married or unmarried partners meet all of the requirements of the foster care licensing process.

We need foster parents who are willing to care for children with developmental or medical needs, babies, older children and sibling groups. As an agency, we try to keep siblings together.

We need families from all over the area, because our children come from all over Lucas County. Our agency licenses foster homes that are preferably within 50 miles of our downtown Toledo offices. You don’t need to live within the county limits to be of help, but you must have the ability to ensure that children make it to visits, services and other scheduled appointments. Your home can be a house, apartment, or manufactured home. Each child needs his or her own bed in a bedroom. Children can share bedrooms, but after the age of 5 children may not share bedrooms with the opposite gender.

Our process to become a foster parent is thorough, to ensure that you are fully prepared to become a caregiver. It includes attending 36 hours of preservice training, submitting a completed application and the home study process.

Some foster parents offer specialized services to children, such as treatment foster care for children with developmental, behavioral or health challenges. Other foster parents specialize in preparing teens for emancipation, or caring for medically fragile children. If you are interested in any of these specialties, there are additional requirements so talk to your home study worker.

Become a Foster Parent


Becoming licensed to be a LCCS foster parent is a multi-step process…but it’s totally worth it! It begins by attending the free, mandatory 36 hours of preservice training. In Lucas County, we are fortunate to have the Northwest Ohio Regional Training Center right at our downtown Toledo offices, so you can get all the training you need close to home.

Steps To Become A Foster Parent

You must be 21 years old to foster, and 18 years old to adopt. All married or unmarried partners in the home must complete the entire process. Miss a class? We offer training several times a year, and have daytime, evening and weekend classes. Still having problems completing the training? Talk to our recruitment caseworkers.

Once you complete the preservice training, and submit a completed application then a caseworker will begin the home study process to determine if your family is ready, appropriate and meets the state’s licensing requirements to become a foster parent.

Once you are licensed family (general) foster home, you will be required to attend ongoing training and complete 40 hours of training hours every two years. Treatment foster parents are asked to complete 60 hours in the two-year period.


Contact Information: 
Recruitment Contact Name, Phone#, Email

FAQs About Foster Care

If you are married or if you have a partner (living in your home), both of you will need to attend preservice training.

The 36-hour preservice training, home study and licensing must be completed in 18 months or less.

It depends on how quickly you complete your paperwork, get your fingerprints done and get the appropriate references and letters. From there, we have a home study worker meet with you in your home for a site and safety inspection and to review the types and number of children you’re interested in fostering or adopting. The entire process can take anywhere from two to six months. It must be completed within 18 months without starting the entire process over again.

Everyone in the household over the age of 18 must do a BCI criminal record check and be fingerprinted. JIS checks are also done for any children over the age of 10.

No, but they need their own bed. Same-gender children may share a bedroom with other foster children or your own children. Bunk beds are acceptable for children over 6. Children cannot share sleeping quarters with you if they are over 12 months old.

Once you are licensed, it could be at any time. When a child needs a foster family, we go through the list of available homes and try to match the family to the child’s needs as closely as possible.

Let your caseworker know. Each foster family needs a backup plan or an alternative care plan that has been pre-approved by LCCS.

Yes. You will fill out a child characteristic inventory form about the types of children and behaviors you are willing to accept. Then when the caseworker calls about a child (or children), he/she will provide you with information about the child and you can make your decision.

Right now, the agency’s greatest need is for families willing to take babies and groups of brothers and sisters, but we need families to care for children and teens of all ages.

You can be married or single, a homeowner or a renter. The only financial requirement is that you have enough of an income to support yourself and your family aside from the stipend you will receive to care for your foster children.

Many foster children attend daycare – paid for by ODJFS, or LCCS when funds are available – which allows foster parents to work outside the home. Foster parents just need to apply through ODJFS.

There is no age requirement (other than you must be at least 21 years of age to foster and 18 to adopt). You must also have a doctor certify that you are physically able to care for a child. Many “empty nesters” find foster parenting to be a rewarding experience.

No. You just need to be a responsible person who will make a commitment to children through the training provided by LCCS.

No. Children need stability, and LCCS offers foster parents plenty of support to maintain children in their home. Before you even take in your first child, the LCCS staff works with you to develop a profile of the type of child best suited to the experience and capabilities of your family. Caseworkers – one for you and one for the child – visit your home monthly to talk through any concerns you have. We provide free, ongoing training so you are constantly learning new tips and strategies for caring for children. Counseling is provided for children who need help understanding and processing their trauma.

Foster parents receive a monthly stipend to care for the child based on his/her age and needs. The child will also receive periodic clothing vouchers. We provide some assistance for childcare and help you apply for child care support through ODJFS. The Lucas County Foster Parent Association provides an opportunity to network with other foster parents. The agency provides recreational opportunities, such as vouchers for sporting events and local performances, as they are made available.

additional training each year. We provide the training at no charge. A calendar of training opportunities is made available each month, and you can register online. Your caseworker will recommend specific training classes for you based on your strengths and the needs of the children in your home.

No. Foster parents do not pay any of a child’s medical expenses, other than over-the counter medicines and supplies. You are reimbursed for all prescriptions covered by Medicaid.

Thirty-nine percent of the children we see have suffered physical abuse. Thirty-one percent have suffered neglect. Ten percent have been victims of sexual abuse. Twenty percent are victims of emotional abuse.

We arrange for children in foster care to see their parents in supervised settings, usually here at the agency or at one of a handful of community centers. These visits take place while parents work their case plan, and continue as long as the family’s goal is reunification.

No. Children are amazingly resilient. Foster parents can make the difference by providing a structured, nurturing environment. Also, along with the supports from LCCS and other community resources these children can grow up to be productive adults in our society. How we respond to their needs now will largely determine what kind of citizens they will be in the future.

Children placed in your home for foster care can stay anywhere from a few days to a couple of years. Generally, the stay is from 9 to 18 months. The Juvenile Court usually wants to make a permanency plan for the child after about a year.

Sometimes, this happens…birth parents have problems that they aren’t able to fix. The Juvenile Court decides whether to sever parental rights. If the judge makes this decision, the child comes into the permanent custody of the agency. From that point, we begin the process of finding a new, adoptive family. If possible, we try to identify a relative to adopt the child. Very often, foster parents adopt the foster children that they’ve cared for, since they’ve become part of the family.


Thank you for your interest in learning more about becoming a foster parent!Please fill out the form below to help us best direct your inquiry.
A member of our staff will be in contact to discuss fostering with you.

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LCCS Mission Statement

Our mission is to lead the community in the protection of children at risk of abuse and neglect. This is accomplished by working with families, service providers and community members to assess risk and coordinate community-based services resulting in safe, stable, and permanent families for children.

Lucas County Children Services

705 Adams St., Toledo, OH 43604

Switchboard is answered 24/7
Phone: (419) 213-3200  •  Fax: (419) 327-3291

Office Hours: Monday – Friday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

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