How To Get Started


Child foster care licensing is provided by Clay County Social Services. There is no application fee required.

Process Length & Questions

The process takes approximately 3 months depending on how quickly the necessary verifications are returned to our office. You should receive your actual license in the mail about two weeks following approval.

If you have questions, please contact the licensor. Thank you for your interest in child foster care.

Helpful Information

Helpful information is available below from web pages outside of the Clay County website:

Beginning the Process

To begin the child foster care licensing process, complete the 4 forms available below.

Return completed forms to Clay County Social Services:
Clay County Social Services
ATTN: CFC Licensing
715 11th Street N.
Suite 502
Moorhead, MN 56560

By completing and submitting these 4 forms first the licensing process can proceed; thus, accelerating the entire process

Note: The links below will open the PDF document best when using Internet Explorer.

Home Visit

You will also be contacted by someone in our office to schedule a home visit to go through the home safety checklist (PDF) with you. For additional information review the Information Sheet - Single Family Dwelling, Child, and Adult Foster Care (PDF) from the Minnesota State Department of Public Safety Fire Marshal website.

We will also conduct interviews with your family in order to get to know you and share further information about child foster care. This whole process is called a home study and is required by the Minnesota Foster Care Rule (PDF) and the Department of Human Services.

Continuing the Process

To continue the process, complete all remaining forms / tasks found below and submit to the licensor at the licensing address above:

  • Applicant Autobiography (PDF): This document will assist your licensor in completing your foster / adopt home study.
  • Discipline Policy (PDF)
  • Complaint / Grievance Procedure Form (PDF): Every foster home in Clay County is required to have a program grievance procedure that permits persons served by the program and their authorized representatives to bring a grievance to the highest level of authority in the program. Use this form or develop your own complaint / grievance procedure. You are required to keep a copy of this policy in your home.
  • Alcohol and Drug Use Policy (PDF): Every foster home must have a policy that prohibits license holders, employees, subcontractors and volunteers, when directly responsible for person served by the program, from abusing prescription medication or being in any manner under the influence of a chemical that impairs the individual's ability to provide services or care. All of these individuals must be trained on this policy. You are required to keep a copy of this policy in your home also.
  • Training Requirements: Prior to a license being issued each applicant will be required to participate in the following trainings:
    • Introduction to Mental Health
    • Normalcy, Reasonable & Prudent Parent Standards
    • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorders
    • Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) and Abusive Head Trauma (AHT) (if caring for infants)
    • Child Passenger Restraint Class (if caring for children 9 years and younger)
    • Minimum of six hours of orientation
    • May require additional trainings if necessary

*Your licensor will talk with you about how to complete these trainings.