Process to Become a Foster Parent

Foster Care and Foster-to-Adopt Process

At Summit County Children Services (SCCS), there is a multi-step process to become a licensed foster parent or foster-to-adopt parent.

Step 1:  Attend an Information Meeting.
SCCS offers monthly, virtual information meetings where staff give an overview of the agency, talk about the children that come into custody, explain the process in more detail and share information about the support we provide.  This is a great opportunity for you to learn more and to have your basic questions answered.  Due to the sensitive nature of information discussed, families are discouraged from bringing children to these meetings.  Click here for Information Meeting Schedule

Step 2:  Attend Policy & Procedure Training.
This is a one-hour, virtual training where staff review in detail many of the SCCS policies and procedures relating to foster care and adoption.  This is a great opportunity to have your specific questions answered.  This training is MANDATORY.  Advance registration is required.  If you have questions, please email Sandy DeLuca.

Step 3:  Attend Pre-Service Training.
Online and in-person trainings are available; all in-person trainings are held at the Northeast Ohio Regional Training Center at Summit County Children Services.  In order to register for Pre-Service Training, you must set up an online account in our Child & Adult Protective Services Learning Management System (CAPS LMS).  Once your account is set up, you will be able to register for trainings, submit evaluations and track your progress.  NOTE:  If you are married or wish to co-parent, both of you will need to set up online accounts using separate emails.  Some of the topics include The Caregiver Role & Responsibilities, Overview and Impact of Trauma, Partnering with the Primary Family, and Child and Adolescent Development.  To inquire how to set up an account in CAPS LMS, email Sandy DeLuca.

Step 4:  Application, Paperwork and Background Check.  
Once you have completed all trainings, you will be given an application and information on paperwork and copies of documents you will need to provide.  Additionally, all adult household members will need to be fingerprinted by SCCS to have a background check done (at no cost to you).  Agency staff will guide you through this process.  To inquire, email Stephanie Hickle.

Step 5:  Complete the Home Study Process.
Your application will be assigned to a Home Assessor who will complete your home study.  The home study includes virtual and in-person visits in your home where all family members age four and older are interviewed.  During this process, you will discuss your family dynamics, parenting styles and what age and gender of children you wish to care for.  Additionally, the Home Assessor will complete a safety audit of your home and review additional paperwork and other supporting documentation with you.

Once the home study is complete, SCCS makes the recommendation for licensure and you become licensed for foster care with an approval for adoption with the State of Ohio.

Individuals wanting to adopt a child through Summit County Children Services, must first become a foster parent. Review the documents linked below for more information on the foster care-to-adoption process in Ohio and the rights of foster care and adoption applicants.

And linked below is some additional information.

If you have additional questions about the foster care to adoption process, please
fill out our Foster Care & Adoption Inquiry form or contact us using the information below.

Summit County Children Services
264 S. Arlington St.
Akron, Ohio 44306
Telephone: (330) 379-1990
Fax: (330) 379-1924
Email: [email protected]

Support Our Mission

Learn how you can help advance the mission of Summit County Children Services

Foster or Adopt

With nearly 800 children in our custody, SCCS relies on the selflessness of our community to foster or adopt children in need.

Volunteer or Donate

We have year-round activities the success of which is dependent on the generosity of our community.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Get the latest information about SCCS activities toward Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Subscribe to SCCS Publications