Foster Parent Training

All foster parents are given a Level of Care certification during the foster care licensing process based on meeting the following:

  • Qualifications
  • Training
  • Foster parent references
  • Foster parent experience

There are five Levels of Care. Each Level of Care certification has a specific number of training hours, personal references, and experience requirements. Training is necessary to prepare foster parents and help them to continue to develop as a foster parent.

Foster Parent Training Table

Being a successful foster parent means continuing to learn through:

  • Classes and other training methods
  • Reading books or magazines
  • Talking with other foster parents
  • Continually developing new skills

Each foster parent is required to complete training in relation to their Level of Care certification. Training requirements fall into three categories:

  • Pre-placement
  • Initial licensing
  • Ongoing

Pre-placement Training

  • Completed within 6 months of licensure.
  • Provides an overview of the child welfare system and the foster care program.

Initial Licensing Training

  • Next step in foster parent training.
  • Completed in the initial licensing period.
  • Provides a solid foundation of education on foster care and child welfare issues.
  • Foster parents learn more information about:
    • Permanence
    • Culture
    • Child development
    • Family connections
    • Abuse and neglect
    • Attachment
    • Discipline
    • Effects of fostering on the foster family

Ongoing Training

  • Offered on a continual basis
  • Completed in each 12-month period of licensure subsequent to the initial licensing period
  • Provides education topics specific to the children placed in a foster home
  • Opportunity to explore areas of interest
  • Learn more about how to meet the needs of children placed in a foster home.
  • Completed in many ways
  • Foster parents should talk with their licensing worker about this training.


Each Level of Care certification has a specific number of required foster parent training hours, which are outlined in the table.

Complete foster parent training requirements are listed in Wisconsin Administrative Code Chapter DCF 56.14.

If a foster parent has completed adoption training as part of the adoption requirements, some of the Initial Licensing training can be met by that training. The Pre-Adoptive Training and Foundation Training Crosswalk provides more information.

For more information about books, videos, and other trainings available, talk with your licensor or contact the Foster Care and Adoption Resource Center (FCARC). Staff at the FCARC can also be reached by telephone at 1-800-762-8063.