General Information

There are many ways that you can make a difference in the lives of abused, neglected and dependent children. Follow the links on this page and learn how to make an impact on a child’s life.

Foster a Child

Foster parents provide temporary daily care in their homes for children whose lives have been disrupted by problems in their own families.

Foster parents are people who genuinely concerned about the well-being of children and families. They recognize that, although they do the best that they can, not all families have the physical, intellectual, or emotional resources to provide children with what they need to grow into healthy, happy, and productive adults.

Foster parents are people who realize that sometimes family conflicts become so severe that, for their safety and well being, children must be removed from their own homes until the problems can be resolved.

Individuals interested in being foster or adoptive parents are required to complete training, which includes twelve sessions that are three-hours each.

Foster parents provide children with the daily basics of food, clothing, and shelter, as well as love, stability, guidance and discipline. Foster parents are reimbursed for meeting the child’s daily needs of food, clothing and shelter. Medical care, child care, and an initial clothing supply are provided by Marion County Children Services.

To qualify to become a foster parent, you must:

  • Be at least 21 years of age.
  • Complete the State required training program prior to licensure (36 hours minimum).
  • Be financially able to support your own family and exhibit mental and emotional stability.
  • Have the skills, attitude, and stamina to effectively deal with the many behaviors and emotions displayed by youth.
  • Complete a home study process which will consist of medical and criminal background checks and interviews with each member of the household.
  • Undergo a fire and safety inspection of the home, as well as a well test (if applicable).

If you would like to become a foster parent, fill out our convenient online information request form and a Placement Service Caseworker will contact you: Click Here!

Adopt a Child

Adoption is a lifelong commitment, a decision to be embraced by each family member. In addition to patience, perseverance and tolerance, families who step forward to adopt should exhibit the uncanny ability to put the needs of the child first.

Adoptive parents must meet the same requirements as those who complete our foster family program, with additional requisites to fully understand the family’s dynamics. Children waiting for adoptive families are all ages, genders and cultures. Many have experienced some form of abuse, neglect or abandonment, and are dealing with unique challenges.

The best place for a child is with a family. Consider giving a child a “forever” family — your own.

Be a Child Mentor

Mentors help young adults encountering adult challenges by offering friendship, being role models and providing links to the community. A mentor agrees to commit time and effort in developing a supportive relationship with a youth. This is typically a 3-hour per week commitment.

Be a Respite Care Provider

Respite Care providers supply temporary relief of child care functions including care outside or inside the caregivers home. This short-term care helps to reduce the stressors associated with parenting (whether natural parents or foster parents), especially of children with special needs.

Respite care offers a variety of services to help prevent the need for placement of children into substitute care and makes a necessary substitute care arrangement as manageable as possible.

To become a respite care provider, you must:

  • Be at least 21 years of age.
  • Complete 12 Hours of agency training including topics such as Child Development, Child Discipline, Agency Rules and Policies, and Separation and Placement Training.
  • Complete a criminal background check.
  • Complete a fire and home safety inspection.

If you would like to become a respite care provider, fill out our convenient online information request form and a Placement Service Caseworker will contact you: Click Here!

Foster/Adoptive Parent Preservice Training

The State of Ohio requires anyone who wants to be a foster and/or an adoptive parent to complete a series of classes that prepare them for the job. The same Preservice Training Curriculum is offered by each county’s children services agency.

Individuals interested in being foster or adoptive parents are required to complete training, which includes twelve sessions that are three-hours each.

We recommend that individuals complete all sessions during the same preservice training series. However, should you have schedule conflicts, you can attend the sessions you missed the next time the preservice training series is held at Marion County Children Services or when the series is being offered in another county. The preservice trainings are valid for two years after you have completed them. If you do not complete the homestudy process within that two-year time period, you will have to take the preservice training classes again.

For Current Foster Parents Ongoing Training Program

Traditional foster parents are required to complete 40 hours of training within their two year recertification period.

Intermediate level foster parents are required to complete 48 hours of training within their two year recertification period.

Imprint level foster parents are required to complete 60 hours within their two year recertification period.

Please refer to your Individual Training Plans to ensure that you are meeting your training requirements.

Click here for a current Training Schedule