Foster Care

Who Can Become a Foster Parent in Alabama?

If you’re wondering what the requirements are to become a foster parent in Alabama, we can help. Learn who can become a foster parent in Alabama!

There are around 6,000 kids in foster care in Alabama, and they need loving foster homes to support them in their time of need.

If you’re wondering what the requirements are to become a foster parent in Alabama, we can help. Below, we’ll cover basic eligibility, what to expect as you move through the process, and even some support options for foster parents. 

Who Can Become a Foster Parent in Alabama: Basic Eligibility Criteria

Figuring out who can become a foster parent in the state of Alabama starts with basic eligibility criteria.

Here’s a list of seven things that need to be met.


Every state has a minimum age for becoming a foster parent — in Alabama, the minimum age is 19 years old.

This age requirement ensures that individuals are mature enough to handle the responsibilities and challenges of fostering children. It also reflects the legal age at which individuals are considered adults, capable of making informed decisions.


Foster parents in Alabama must be in good enough health to provide for a child in care. 

It’s important to note that this includes both physical and mental well-being. A medical examination looks at overall health, including immunization status, medications, and general fitness to be foster parents. 

The goal is to look for any health conditions that could affect the ability to care for a child and to ensure that foster parents are capable of meeting the diverse needs of children — especially those who may have gone through trauma or neglect.

Home Safety

Foster parents in Alabama need to provide a living environment that meets the state's Minimum Standards for Foster Family Homes

These standards make sure that the space meets the criteria for the well-being and safety of the children. Some home requirements may include proper sleeping conditions, sanitation facilities, and living space. 

This helps create a comfortable and secure home environment that supports development and happiness.

In addition to meeting these minimum standards, the foster family home must go through a home safety inspection. This inspection is done to look for potential hazards and be sure the home meets safety regulations. 

Common areas of inspection include fire safety measures, proper storage of harmful substances, and general cleanliness. 

A home safety inspection is required. Foster kids deserve to live in safe and comfortable spaces that any of us would expect for ourselves.

Financial Stability

To qualify, foster parents must show a reliable and regular source of income that is enough to meet the financial needs of their family, including foster children. 

While there is no strict income requirement, foster parents must show the ability to provide a stable and secure environment for the child. This ensures that foster parents can cover essential expenses such as food, clothing, education, and healthcare. Foster parents will receive a stipend to help cover expenses, but it is only meant to supplement their earnings, not fully care for the child.

Background Checks

In the state of Alabama, every adult in the foster family must go through background checks and criminal history. 

This ensures that foster parents have no criminal offenses and helps protect the well-being of children in care. 

Additionally, anyone aged 14 and older in the home must obtain clearance from the State Central Registry on Child Abuse and Neglect. 

These background checks help keep children in care safe from any risks and make sure they’re placed with responsible and trustworthy foster parents. 

Family Stability

Family stability is important for foster parents in Alabama, particularly for married couples. 

There isn’t a requirement for foster parents to be married — you can be a foster parent even if you’re single

However, it’s stability that is the key — the state typically requires that couples have been married for at least one year before applying to become foster parents. This highlights the importance of stability and the ability of couples to provide the best possible space for children in foster care.

Support System

A great support system isn’t a requirement, but it’s certainly a valuable asset for people who want to become foster parents in Alabama. 

Having a community of support, which may include friends, family, and neighbors, can help a lot through the foster parenting journey. This support network gives encouragement, practical help, and a sense of community for foster parents as they move through the unique challenges and rewards of caring for children in need.

Foster parents often rely on their support system for guidance, understanding, and even respite care. Recognizing how important a support network is, Alabama encourages foster parents to build and maintain these connections.

The Process of Becoming a Foster Parent in Alabama

Do you meet all the requirements listed above?

If so, you’re ready to start the process of becoming a foster parent in Alabama!

Here are the steps you can expect in the process.

  • Inquiry and application - To start, you’ll need to fill out an application — here, the state will make sure that you meet the requirements for fostering. If you’re having trouble with the application process, organizations such as Sevita can help set you on the right path. 
  • Preservice sessions - In Alabama, foster parents must take the “Trauma Informed Partnering for Permanence and Safety” (TIPPS) session. It helps foster parents understand how to best provide care for children in need and covers topics ranging from meeting safety needs to sharing parenting with birth parents. 
  • Home study - Potential foster parents must complete a home study before matching with a child. During a home study, a social worker will assess whether or not the home is the right fit for a child. It also includes talks about family dynamics, lifestyle, and other factors that could affect foster parenting. 
  • Matching process - Once the home study is completed, it typically takes around six months for foster parents to be matched to a child. This process makes sure that a child in care is placed in the right home. 

Support for Foster Parents in Alabama

No one has to go through the foster parenting journey alone — as is the case with every state, there are support options available to foster parents in Alabama.

  • Financial support - In Alabama, foster parents are given a monthly stipend to help with the costs of raising a child in care. This ranges from $462 to $501 on average. It is not meant to cover all of a foster child’s expenses, just to help cover their needs, such as clothing, food, etc.
  • Social worker assistance - Both the child in care and the foster families benefit from the support of dedicated social workers in Alabama. Children in care are assigned a social worker who works to support the placement and make everything easier.
  • Further knowledge - Beyond the initial session required by the state of Alabama, there are more opportunities for foster parents to develop fostering skills, including trauma-informed care, child psychology, and other important topics. You can find more information on the Alabama Foster & Adoptive Parent Association website.

Learn More About Fostering in Alabama in Our Upcoming Webinar

Do you meet all of the requirements? Do you have questions about who can become a foster parent in Alabama?

If so, our upcoming webinar can help point you in the right direction.

By attending a Foster Parent Information Session Webinar and learning more about the fostering process, you can take the first step toward becoming a foster parent and providing a safe, loving, and supportive home for a child in need. 

Sign up for our webinar today, or call our local office to get started!

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