Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

How to Pick a Home That Will Pass Foster Care Inspection

Becoming a foster parent is a loving way to complete your family or to give back to your community, but there are many rules and requirements before you can add a child to your home. If you’re planning to become a foster parent and looking at a new home, it’s important to consider how your prospective dwelling will affect your chances of getting a child. Read on to learn how you can pick a home that will pass foster care inspection.

Clear Access to Exits

Regulations for foster care homes include the need for at least two accessible exits on every floor, and especially in bedrooms. When choosing a new home, make sure there are clear escape routes, such as a window or door, from every bedroom. Pay special attention to basement rooms. If the window wells are too deep for a child to get out through, then it will not count as an exit and needs to be outfitted with a ladder.

Adequate Space

Foster families are required to have plenty of living space for each child they take in. Some states have specific requirements regarding how many children are allowed per bedroom or how much square footage must be provided for each child. Typically, you need at least one bedroom for every two children of the same gender. It’s also important to make sure there are adequate common spaces where children can eat, play and study.

Secure Locks on Doors and Cabinets

Childproofing isn’t just for babies and toddlers. A home study will expect prospective foster parents to have adequate locks on doors and cabinets regardless of the age of the child being placed. Many foster children have developmental delays and other issues that make them prone to running away or getting into dangerous items. Pay special attention to medicine cabinets and doors that lead to the street.

Leave Nothing Unfinished

Many new homes for sale come with unfinished basements, and this can be hazardous for young children. Getting a home that is entirely finished allows you to give your family full access to the house. If you do get a home with an unfinished basement, you’ll need to make sure that the foster kids have no access to that area until all nails, exposed insulation, and similar hazards have been secured.

Keep in mind that if you can’t find your perfect home, you can always make modifications later. Child-friendly upgrades like locks and fences are affordable additions, and extra bedrooms can be created in the attic or basement.

Tim Esterdahl

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