Becoming a Caregiver


Becoming a licensed foster parent is a multi-step process that includes submitting an inquiry form, submitting a formal application, completion of a thorough home study by the DCYF Licensing Division and completion of these trainings, at a minimum:

Caregiver Core Training

CCT is designed to help you understand how the system works, what your role is as a member of the team, how to effectively work with birth families in order to best support the child, how caregiving may impact your own family, child development and the impact of trauma, all about attachment, how to incorporate and honor a child's culture into your own family, and more.

CPR/First Aid

The Alliance is no longer offering this course directly. Please follow your licensor's instructions for CPR training.

Bloodborne Pathogens

This eLearning will help you understand the risk anticipated by contact with blood and other potentially infectious materials as the result of caring for children.

Reach out to the Alliance CaRES team at to get connected with your CaRES mentor for personal support with kinship or general foster licensing.

If you’re ready to get started, keep a copy of our Journey Toward Licensure checklist handy! 

You can find more information on the licensing process on the DCYF website.

Training Requirements

Licensed Caregivers must take 24 hours of caregiver continuing education (CCE) hours over each three-year licensing period. The Alliance offers training that will count towards this requirement. Click here to learn more about CCE and CCE eligible courses.

You are encouraged to take up to 12 hours of training between the time you submit your application and receive your license, as these hours will carry over into your first three-year period. (The training must have been completed within 12 months of DCYF Licensing Division (LD) receiving the application.)

WAC 110-148-1375 What training am I required to have before I become licensed?

Child Placing Agencies

Child Placing Agencies (CPAs) are an alternative to being licensed by the state. CPAs are private agencies that recruit and certify new families, place children in foster homes, and support the process of reunification. 

These are similar things state caseworkers do, but there is one key difference. Because CPAs have smaller caseloads and more flexibility, they’re able to focus on developing meaningful personal relationships. The results are more personalized support for children, youth, families, and foster families, and relief for overwhelmed state caseworkers. 

CPAs can be found statewide and each are slightly different, so it’s important to find the right agency for your family, which may be the state. You have choices so be sure and find the right fit for you and your family. 

Learn more about child placing agencies here.

Training for Kinship Caregivers

Kinship Core Training (KCT) is intended to meet the training requirements for those kinship caregivers pursuing licensing. This training is designed to help kinship caregivers develop the skills they need to care for children who have experienced complex trauma. 

KCT consists of the four sessions listed below and can be taken in full or individually in any order. Check with your licensing contact to determine the right plan for you.

Session 1: Navigating the System
Session 2: Growing Up with Trauma, Grief, and Loss
Session 3: Understanding and Managing Behaviors
Session 4: Nurturing Connections and Community

Register Here