Change a young person’s life by providing them with a caring, stable, long-term or short-term place to call home. LAYC is looking for compassionate families and individuals to open their homes and their hearts to a child or youth in need. We provide support, training, licensing, and financial assistance to our foster parents and host families.Apply to be a Foster Parent
What is a foster parent?
Foster parents provide temporary care for children who have been removed from their homes by the government due to abuse and/or neglect. Foster parenting is both a responsibility and one of the highest forms of community service. Foster children require more than “custodial” care. Foster parents provide food, clothing, shelter, plus the love, stability, guidance, and discipline these children need until they are reunited with their families or are adopted.
Foster parents are licensed by the DC government and must be residents of the District. Foster parents have an easier path to adoption available to them, should that be of interest to them in the future. Foster parents house children 0–21 years old and a legal agreement is required to provide care.
What is a host home family?
A host home family welcomes homeless or runaway youth, ages 12-17 for a short-term (up to three weeks) or long-term (up to 18 months) stay. A host home can serve as emergency shelter for youth in crisis or as temporary, long-term transitional housing. Host home families can assist youth in different situations: experiencing temporary conflict at home, needing a safe and loving home for a transitory period; or pregnant or parenting. Once a youth is placed in the home of a certified family, host home professionals provide supportive services to the youth, the youth’s biological family (short-term only), and the host family. Host families are licensed through LAYC and may reside in DC or Maryland. Youth placed with host families ages 12-21, are in crisis, but were not removed from their homes by the government.
What is the difference between being a host home family and a foster parent with LAYC?
Foster parents are licensed by the DC government and must be residents of the District; host families are licensed through LAYC and may reside in DC or Maryland. Foster parents care for children who have been removed from their homes by the government due to abuse and/or neglect. Youth placed with host families are in crisis, but were not removed from their homes by the government. Foster parents have an easier path to adoption available to them, if that is something they are interested in. Host homes serve youth ages 12-21; foster parents house children 0–21 years old. Foster care involves a legal agreement, whereas host families are volunteers.
Who can be a foster parent or host home family?
Prospective caregivers can be married or single, male or female, with or without children, English or Spanish speakers, renters or homeowners, US citizens/legal residents or undocumented persons. LGBT individuals and families are encouraged to apply.
What are the requirements to become a foster parent or host home family?
LAYC is a licensed foster care provider in the District of Columbia contracted by the DC Child and Family Services Agency. Families interested in becoming foster parents with LAYC must live in the District of Columbia. Host homes families may live in the District of Columbia or Maryland. Additional requirements for both programs are:
- Be at least 21 years of age
- Complete required training (30 hours for foster parents; 15 for host home families)
- Have room in their home to accommodate a child
- Be financially stable and able to maintain his/her household and provide for his/her family
- Be willing to work as part of a team
- Be able to provide a safe, culturally sensitive, and supportive home
- Have a love of children and a desire to parent the child placed in his/her care
What supports are available to foster parents and host families?
Our program ensures foster and host families are prepared for the responsibility of providing a temporary safe haven to a child or youth experiencing a critical time in their lives. Our foster and host families receive personalized support and attention from our bilingual (English and Spanish) staff who are available 24/7 in case of emergencies. Our family resource specialists provide families with ongoing support, beginning with licensing paperwork and clearances, home studies, crisis intervention, and general support. Families also receive financial assistance to help cover the basic needs of children or youth in their care, as well as reimbursement for expenses related to home studies. LAYC also offers a variety of activities including an annual picnic, field trips, and other special events.
For more information about becoming a foster parent or a host home family, or to learn dates and details for the next session, contact our family resource specialist below.
Washington, DC Safe Housing Office, 3043 15th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009; Riverdale, 6200 Sheridan Street, Riverdale, MD 20737.
Foster Care (DC Residents only): Maraldy Gutierrez, firstname.lastname@example.org, (202) 607-7622.
Host Homes (DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia Residents):
Washington, DC Office: Karla Casanova, Family Resource Specialist, email@example.com, (202) 300-9202.
Riverdale Office: Angela Gonzalez, Host Homes Program Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org, (202) 247-7073.