Become a foster
family to foster
a child

Ready to get started?
Start your online
application now.


Become a foster family to foster a child

Ready to get started? Start your online application now.

Why you should become a foster family

Lackawanna County kids need you

There is currently a shortage of foster homes in Lackawanna County. Each day children enter the foster care system. It is important to keep these children in their own community.

You’ll be supported

Lackawanna County provides financial reimbursement as well as medical, mental health and educational support. We’ll be with you every step of the way.


Opening your heart to a foster child can be an amazingly rewarding experience. You can make a difference in a child’s life.

How to become a foster family if you live in Lackawanna County

  1. You’ll work directly with our team in Lackawanna County
  2. Fill out the application and collect supporting documents
  3. Complete trainings
  4. Provide references
  5. Pass background checks
  6. Complete home and family assessments with a social worker (4-6 home visits)
  7. Get approved

How to become a foster family if you do not live in Lackawanna County

Contact Lackawanna County Office of Youth and Family Services at or 570-963-6781 to discuss your options with a foster care worker.

Foster a child in Lackawanna County & help your community

Carole and I wouldn’t change a thing. Fostering a child through CYS certainly has its ups and downs but knowing that you are helping to keep a child safe helps to alleviate the rough times. In our case we were able to adopt or two grandsons and we wouldn’t change a thing. It has been difficult at times but it is so rewarding.

Bill and Carole Willson


With the death of my husband, and my children being grown and moving out, I realized how empty my house would be. I decided I wanted to foster while my husband was still alive but that dream was short lived with his passing. I knew I still had to help the children out there by giving them a more stable household for as ever long as they need. Fast forward 6 years later, I now have this wonderful young girl, and have become her permanent legal guardian. She is beautiful and smart, with a ton of laughter and personality to go around.

Katie Enkulenko


What is a foster family?

A foster family refers to a licensed caregiver who provides in home care to a child adjudicated dependent and in the custody of Lackawanna County Office of Youth and Family Services.

Who can qualify to be a foster family?

Families of all types: married, single and cohabitating adults of all races, ethnicities and religions.

What are the basic requirements to become a foster family?

Willingness to work in partnership with the child’s family and Lackawanna County OYFS.
Minimum age of 21 years.
Medical appraisal by a licensed physician.
Background Clearances.
Completion of pre-service training.
Ability to meet state and agency regulations.
Reliable source of income.
Automobile and Homeowners/renters insurance.
Home inspection to ensure home safety requirements.

Will I have to do training to be approved?


How many children can I have in my home?

You can have a maximum of 6 children, including your own biological children or other minors living in your home.  Additional limitations may apply depending on the size of your home or if providing care for children with significant special needs.

Can I foster in Lackawanna County if I live in another county?

Yes. Lackawanna County OYFS utilizes foster homes in other counties with the understanding the foster parents can provide for all the child’s needs. This may include visitation, agency meetings, or activities in the child’s community.

Is there a checklist for safety requirements for my home if I want to apply to foster a child?

Yes. You can see the checklist here.
We know that having someone come into your home can seem intimidating and overwhelming. We prepared this checklist to help you know what we will be looking for. This list is derived from legal requirements that our agency must comply with to ensure your home is safe for foster children. All items on the checklist do not need to be completed prior to your meeting with a member of our team. We will help ensure all requirements are met prior to final approval.

What is the cost of getting approved as a foster family?

The process should be free. The only potential expense is getting a medical clearance, but we have low cost or free options for families.

Ready to get started? Start your online application now.