Licensing Process

Informational Sessions

Learn more about foster care and becoming a foster parent at one of our open sessions. Licensing staff will talk about fostering and answer your questions. Informational packets are also available. No registration is required. Sessions are held the first Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m. at Winnebago County Department of Human Services, 220 Washington Avenue, Oshkosh WI.

Information Folder

If you are unable to attend an informational session, please ask us to mail an informational folder to you. It includes informaiton on foster care, the licensing process, and working with birth families and our agency. To obtain a folder, contact Jill Coats at (920) 236-4646, or e-mail jcoats@co.winnebago.wi.us.

Application Packet

After you have reviewed the information adn would like to take the next step, please contact Lisa Pendleton at (920) 236-4658 for a brief phone onversation and to receive an application packet. The packet consists of the following forms, which must be filled out in their entirety and returned to Winnebago County Department of Human Services for review before a foster care coordinator is assigned. Once the completed application packet has been received it may take 60 days or longer to finish the licensing process. 

  • Foster Parent Application
  • SAFE Questionnaire I
  • Auto Insurance Verification
  • Homeowner's or Renter's Insurance Verificiation

Background & Reference Checks

A background check will be conducted by the agency and includes: national fingerprint check with FBI, State of Wisconsin Caregiver background check, domestic violence history, child protective services history, juvenile delinquency history, and Department of Motor Vehicle license verification.

Home Study

Your assigned foster care coordinator who is also a  social worker from the Resource Team will be assigned to conduct a series of interviews to gather information and complete an assessment. The assessment process will help us get to know you and your family and will assist in identifying your strengths and matching children to your home. Through home and office visits you will also learn more about our agency and children in need of placement.

The home study, also known as a Foster Family Assessment (FFA), consists of several hours of face-to-face contact with each parent and some additional time with each child in the family.  The assessment tool is comprised of several categories: History, Adult Functioning, Marital/Domestic Partner relationships, Birthparent and foster child Viewpoints, Family Relationships, Physical/Social Environment, General Parenting, Preperation for Fostering, Commitment and Family Resources. Each category has subheadings that are individually rated.  The assessment also includes a social history component and other demographic information about the home and household. Based on the results of the assessment, the licensor will make final recommendations about licensure as well as a support plan outlining any remaining needs that need to be met by the family prior to licensure.

Training

Click here for Training Information

Issuance or Denial of License

A State of Wisconsin Foster Care License will be issued when all licensing requirements have been met.  The license will indicate the number, sex and age range of the child(ren) for whom you may provide care.  The license is in effect up to two years and may be renewed upon successful completion of re-licensing requirements. If a license is denied, the applicants have the right to appeal the decision to the State (for more information on this, see DCF 56.10).  A record is kept of all persons who apply for a license including those who were denied a license or voluntarily chose not to complete the process.  This information is accessible by all county social workers in the State of Wisconsin.

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