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The need for foster families in Wisconsin is huge.  Children need love, stability and support. Foster Care is when a child is placed in the temporary care of a family other than his/her own as the result of problems or challenges that are taking place within the birth family, or while critical elements of an adoption are being completed.

Foster parents are primarily ordinary people who have decided to step-up to make a difference in the life of a child, but they are often not alone in their work. Most foster agencies offer support to help foster parents be successful. Often the foster parents make up a small part of the overall foster care team, which can include the child, foster-adopt parents, mental health providers, educators, child advocates, medical providers, case workers, the child's biological parents, and the court. The goal of this team is to ensure the needs of the child are being met, and to find the child a permanent home, including reunification with the biological parents.

There are several different types of foster care, including traditional care, emergency foster care and respite foster care. 


In the traditional foster care model, a small number of children can stay with a single foster parent or family. Usually this occurs in the foster parents' home and can last for a few months or even years. If necessary, this care may even be only a few days or months, depending on the reunification plan with their biological parents.

If a social worker or system cannot figure out a longer term solution for a foster child, an emergency foster care home is available 24 hours a day to receive children in need. This can happen due to a parent being arrested or a similar situation where the child needs a place to go immediately.

Respite foster care is available for a few days at a time to give families a break from stressful situations. This gives the primary foster family a short period of time to rest.

If you're interested in becoming a certified foster parent, we encourage you to visit Wisconsin Department of Children and Families. 

Information taken from Wisconsin Department of Children and Families at

Former Foster Parent Exit Survey

No longer a Wisconsin Foster Parent?  Folks leave for all sorts of reasons.  We'd like to hear more about your experience--and why you left-- so we can improve the foster parenting experience for those who follow. 

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