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Kinship, Foster, Adoptive Program

For specific information on becoming a Kinship/ Foster/Adoptive Parent or Respite Care Provider for Fremont County  please contact:

Fremont County Department of Human Services
Foster Care Certification
172 Justice Center Road
Canon City, Colorado 81212

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Family First

The goal of the Fremont County Department of Human Services is to reunite children with their families.  If a child cannot be returned to their primary caregiver, every effort will be made to place that child with appropriate relatives or other caring adults in their life.  If after all relative options have been exhausted then we place children with a foster or foster-adopt family. 

Non-Relative or Foster Care/Fost-Adopt

Today, Fremont County Department of Human Services has approximately 20 certified foster homes (non-relative) to care for children and youth of our community.  Often times our foster homes are full, which requires that children who come into care must be placed outside of our community/county away from their schools, friends, neighbors and extended families.  It is traumatic enough to tell a child we have to place them with people they don’t know, but if the only foster family available is in another community/county, it only adds to the child’s anxiety and fear.

Should you become a Kinship/Foster/Adoptive Parent?

Some things to consider:

  • What are your beliefs and attitudes about the Fremont County Department of Human Services?
  • What are you beliefs and attitudes about Child Welfare or Child Protective Services?
  • What are your beliefs and attitudes about foster care?
  • What are your beliefs and attitudes about adopting from the child welfare system?
  • What are your reasons for becoming a foster or foster/adopt parent?
  • Are you ready emotionally and is your home ready?
  • What impact might fostering have on your own family?  What if you end up adopting a child?
  • What age and behaviors of children vs. your own children would be the best match?
  • Have you talked to your own children and/or family about fostering?
  • Is it realistic for you to become a foster parent?  Is it realistic for you to become an adoptive parent?

What is Foster Care?

Foster care means the placement of a child into the legal custody or legal authority of a county department of human/social services for physical placement of a child in a certified or licensed facility.
Foster care is intended to provide a substitute family for children for a temporary period of time, during which the family can work towards the goal of reunification.
Foster care is not a punishment for behavior and children in foster care are not bad.  Children in foster care may have a variety of behaviors as a result being abused and/or neglected; such as differed appearance due to physical abuse (bruises/cuts, low weight), parent-like behavior, hoarding food, shy and reserved, very talkative, etc.
Children and Youth may need foster care placements for a variety of reasons:

  • They have been emotionally, physically, or sexually abused
  • They have been neglected medically, educationally, or a parent fails to protect them from abuse or neglect
  • The physical or mental incapacity of their parent(s) creates an unsafe situation
  • They have been abandoned
  • The drug, alcohol, or other chemical abuse by their parent(s) has created an unsafe environment for the child
  • Injurious environment
  • Youth in conflict
  • When a child has been deemed beyond the control of his/her parent(s)

Basic Requirements

The following are basic requirements for the certification process:

-Are at least 21 years of age
-Are single, married, divorced, widowed, or in a stable domestic partnership
-Own or rent your home
-Have a valid driver’s license and car insurance
-Willing to transport the children to and from appointments to include school, visitation, and medical/dental appointments
-Willing to get your CPR/First Aid Certification and maintain it through the life of certification
-Willing to participate in the Family to Family Model (TDM’s, Icebreakers, keeping kids in their home communities and schools, etc.)
-Have adequate financial resources to sustain your household independently
-Demonstrate an adequate level of physical fitness and stamina to care for active children.
-Demonstrate personal characteristics/strengths needed to meet the challenges of parenting children with varying emotional and behavioral needs associated with trauma, grief and loss
-Are open to learn
-Can work in partnership with our county agency and are open to consult with others on a child’s professional team
-Can remain open to and maintain safe and appropriate connections with a child’s extended family of origin.

The Role of a Foster Parent

Foster parents are caring, and committed individuals who open their hearts and home to meet the needs of children who must be placed in out-of-home care in order to be safe. A foster family provides the child with an emergency or temporary home and a supportive, stable family environment while the birth family addresses the concerns or situation that prevents them from parenting their child. Typically, foster parents care for the child until reunification with the birth family occurs, there is an adoption or guardianship with kin, or the child is legally available for adoption. Sometimes foster parents become the permanent home for the child through adoption.

How fostering is similar to parenting your own children?

  • they need daily care and supervision
  • they need their basic physical and emotional needs met
  • you’ll work with schools, medical personnel, and other professionals to meet their needs
  • help guide the child’s development in all areas: physical, emotional, social, spiritual, etc.
  • provide structure, rules, and discipline
  • teach values and self-direction
  • model appropriate family relationships

How fostering is different from parenting your own children?

  • Must be able to recognize that a child in care may have a variety of developmental levels which may or may not match his/her chronological age.
  • Only having a limited time to work with a child and his family.
  • Understanding and accepting agency/department involvement and responsibilities.
  • Comply with certification standards.
  • Must keep records.
  • Must work with biological children to support reunification (if appropriate).
  • Will be able to make only limited decisions.
  • Must respect confidentiality.
  • Must report changes in family household to the department.
  • Must be able to offer flexibility and work with the objectives of the case plan (visitation, therapy, etc.).

How is fostering similar to a job?

  • Have specific duties and responsibilities
  • Held accountable
  • You work closely with professionals in a child’s life.
  • You keep records
  • Maintain confidentiality.

How is fostering different from a job?

  • It involves your entire family.
  • Requires a warm environment, involving love and commitment.
  • On duty 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
  • Fostering is not a source of income or a form of employment.

Basic expectations of a foster parent:

  • Support reunification when it is in the best interest of the child.
  • Healthy communication with a child’s treatment team.
  • To ask for support when needed.

Types of Foster/Adoptive Homes Fremont County needs:

Traditional Foster Care homes for youth ages zero to eighteen years of age.
Homes for sibling groups of all ages
Homes for Teens (both boys and girls)
Homes for Teen moms and pregnant teens
Respite homes

Certification Process, Expectations, and Information

For specific information on becoming a Foster Parent or Respite Care Provider for Fremont County please contact:

Fremont County Department of Human Services
Foster Care Certification
172 Justice Center Road
Canon City, Colorado 81212

Licensing Requirements for Foster Family Homes

Step 1
Family Will Complete
  1. Fill out the application in its entirety
  2. Fill out the Income Worksheet
  3. Copy of your most recent income taxes
  4. Have your fingerprints rolled at the Sheriff’s Office or Police Department (This will cost $10.00 per person). Bring fingerprint cards back to DHS with a check for $39.50/card so that we can send them to CBI and FBI. This needs to be done for everyone in the house over the age of 18.

Step 2
DHS Will Complete

  1. Colorado Court Database – Any past court involvement
  2. TRAILS Check – Past involvement with DHS for child abuse and neglect
  3. CAN Check  - Past involvement with DHS for child abuse and neglect if you have lived in other states than Colorado in the past five years
  4. Send Out Reference Letters – Please encourage your references to return letters as soon as possible.

Step 3
Family Will Complete

  1. Register for CORE Training (12 Hours) – See Enclosed Directions
  2. Schedule CPR/1st Aid (be sure that this includes child/infant)
    ** Can Call Carrie Lees with AMR at 240-4845 **
  3. General Physical Examination for all Family Members.
  4. Fill out Autobiography and S.A.F.E. Questionnaire I
  5. School Questionnaire – To be Filled Out by School Personnel for All School-Aged Children
  6. Fire Escape Plan – Emergency Plan
  7. Complete 15 hours of Pre-Certification Training.
    **These hours are in addition to the 12 hours of CORE Training, for a total of 27 hours.**
  8. Family Photo (Must Include ALL Members Who Live In The Home)
  9. Provide Copies of the following
    a.   Pet Vaccinations
    b.   Driver’s License
    c.   Auto Insurance
    d.   Water Test – Only if you are on a well
Step 4
S.A.F.E Homestudy
DHS Will Complete With Family

S.A.F.E stands for Structured Analysis and Family Evaluation

It is a comprehensive homestudy that looks at the social history, background, personal characteristics, and values of a family. It also attempts to understand problem solving and communication skills, parenting skills and family preparation, children and other people living in the home, family relationships and family support networks, and physical and social environments.

  1. The homestudy process will begin when all of the above items are completed.
  2. The interview will consist of an individual interview of all the members of the household and a couple’s interview.
  3. S.A.F.E. Questionnaire II
  4. Initial Home Inspection/Walk-Through
Step 5
Both DHS and Family Complete
  1. Review and sign the S.A.F.E. initial homestudy
  2. Review Training Development Plan
  3. Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Forms to allow direct deposit payments to providers.
  4. Final Home Inspection – Home Safety Checklist
  5. Memo of Understanding – For Reimbursement Process
  6. Review and Sign the Discipline Policy
  7. Review and Sign Provider Contract
  8. Collect and Copy Foster Parent Handbook
  9. Review and Sign Confidentiality Agreement
Step 6
DHS Will Complete
  1. DHS will Complete Report of Inspection
  2. Certificate is Issued

Pre-certification and On-Going Training Requirements

Per Volume VII 7.708.65 the certifying authority shall have a comprehensive written plan for orientation, pre-certification training, certification and on-going training of foster parents.

Pre-certification Training

As part of the pre-certification process families are given a handout and instructions for attending Foster Parent Core Training.  This meets the 12 hours of the required Foster Parent Core training.

The additional 15 hours of pre-certification training is met as follows:

2 hours Monthly Foster Parent Meeting
2 hours Video:  The Road to Adoption and Foster Care
     Paper:  During each section of the video any thoughts on how this video
     applies to you, concerns brought up, questions
1 hour Video: Foster Parenting in Rural Colorado
     Paper:  During each section of the video any thoughts on how this video
     applies to you, concerns brought up, questions
1 hour Complete Foster Care and Adoption Self-Assessment Guide
1 hour Family to Family Video
     Paper:  How can information presented can be used in your work with
      biological Families
1 hour Child Welfare System and Dependency and Neglect Materials
     Follow up questionnaire and sign form (read, agree and received a copy)
2 hours Love and Logic
     Applicant choice of read book or watch video
     Summary paper of thoughts, concerns, questions
     Sign form (read/watched and agrees to follow model)
2 hours Volume VII Rules and Regulations
     Initial, date reviewed and copy for provider and provider file
     Sign Rules and Regulations form (read, agree and received a copy)
1 hour Fremont County DHS Foster Parent Handbook (Policies and Procedures)
     Initial, date reviewed and copy for provider and provider file
     Sign Foster Parent Handbook form (read, agree and received a copy)
2 hours Review of FCDHS forms (monthly reports, journaling, discipline policy,
     Mandatory Reporting, Confidentiality, Memo of Understanding, how reimbursement works/roster, fire drill record, corrective actions, investigations, medical and dental requirements/forms, placement packet and records of admission/placement agreement).

On-going Training

Per Volume VII the foster family home must have 20 hours of On-going training per year.

FCDHS will require that 10 of those hours be classroom training.

  • 4 Hours Semi Annual Safety Training
  • 2 Hours Rules and Regulations Training
  • Additional 4 Hours met through approved classroom training

Additional 10 hours of training can be met through:

  • Self Tests
  • Newsletter Tests
  • Resource library
  • Family choice

Home Safety Inspection Checklist

Following is the Home Safety Inspection a Certification Caseworker will complete during the certification process.  This check list is not for you to complete on your own.


Outdoor fenced or supervised play space, 75 sq ft/child-ages 1 to 5 years


Plastic bags, matches, lighters, cigarettes locked/inaccessible


Indoor play area – 35 sq ft/child


First Aid supplies available


Sleeping area-under 18 mo may be with adult; under 5-same floor as adults or monitoring system; 40 sq ft/child


Lawnmowers, snow blowers, chainsaws, and other hazardous tools & gasoline stored properly and /or locked


Adequate heating, lighting, plumbing, refrigeration


Furnace, hot water heater free of flammable materials


Mobile homes must be skirted, anchored permanently and 2 exits


Electrical outlet covers, if needed; No worn or exposed wiring


Child over 4 years of age does not share room w/ child of opposite sex


Gates on stairways for toddlers; handrails on stairs if 5 or more; deck railings


Child must have own bed and place to store clothing


Garage safety discussed


Home neat/clean w/adequate trash storage; exits clear of obstacles


Safe storage of knives, scissors, and other sharp items discussed w/provider


Food preparation area clean


Firearms and ammunition stored and locked separately


Individual towels, cups, toothbrushes, comb/brush


5 lb Type ABC fire extinguisher accessible


Liquor/alcoholic beverages – safe storage/locked


Fire extinguisher has not expired.


No hazardous business on premises


Smoke detectors on each floor near sleeping areas; optional carbon monoxide detectors


Daily routine and care of children discussed


Fireplace/wood burning stove screened properly


Written medication log


Firewood stored/stacked in a safe manner


Medicines, vitamins, etc. Locked or in safe storage


Window well covers as needed


Car seats for children less than 4 yr. & under 40 lbs.; all others must be maintained and in safe operating condition


Evacuation plan written, posted and practiced


Proof of valid driver’s license and adequate car insurance all vehicles must be maintained and in safe operating condition


Safety procedures discussed re: swimming pools, wading pools, hot tubs, trampolines


Basement has 2 exits


Well water tested yearly copy of certificate; well is covered


Safety latches on cabinets and drawers as needed (based upon age of child)


Escape ladders as needed


Current pet vaccinations


Swing set anchored; no protruding bolts

Tools and Resources

Annie E Casey Foundation webpage
Colorado Department of Human Services
CDHS Academy Training Webpage
Colorado State Foster Parent Association
National Foster Parent Association
Foster Parent College
Love and Logic
Jason Foundation for Teen Suicide Prevention
Colorado Medicaid
Colorado Kinship Connection
The Piton Foundation 
Adoption Exchange
Adopt Us Kids
National Capitol Poison Center
Colorado Coalition of Adoptive Familites
Colorado Post-Adoption Resource Center

Local Links:
Canon City Daily Record
Canon City Public Library
Road conditions
Heart of Colorado CASA
Upper Arkansas Area Council of Governments

Community Partners:
Rocky Mountain Behavioral Health
West Central Mental Health
Women, Infants and Children
Colorado Workforce Center
New Horizon Ministries
Fremont County Family Center
Star Point
Parents As Teachers

School Districts:

Local Law Enforcement
Colorado State Patrol:
Fremont County Sheriff:
Official Page for Florence, CO
Official Page for Canon City, CO

Resources/Forms for Current Licensed Providers