General foster care

The need for foster care parents in Milwaukee County is great. As many as 100 children are removed from their homes each month because they are not safe. At any given time, 2,000 children are in foster care in Milwaukee County.

Children's Hospital of Wisconsin Community Services, in partnership with the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare, is responsible for the recruitment, licensing and support of foster and adoptive parents. We also match children with foster and adoptive parents.

Children who need foster and adoptive homes come from diverse backgrounds and have a wide range of needs. We are looking for diverse and nurturing foster and adoptive parents to meet those needs.

How to become a foster parent

A foster parent provides temporary care for a child who is in the custody of the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare. You will provide a temporary family and home for a child until they can be safely reunited with their biological family or placed in a permanent living situation.

Foster parents must:

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Attend an informational meeting (PDF)
  • Pass a criminal background and caregiver check
  • Have no prior history of involvement with a child welfare agency due to an upheld accusation of child abuse or neglect
  • Possess sufficient verifiable sources of income
  • Meet physical home environment requirements and have homeowner's or renter's liability insurance
  • Have bedroom space for a foster child. A foster child cannot share a bedroom with an adult
  • Have vehicle liability insurance
  • Participate in professional training provided during the licensing process. In addition, ongoing training each year is required
  • Be willing and able to work with and respect the child's biological family
  • Have love and patience to share
  • Be invested in the future of our community's children
  • Frequently asked questions
  • What is needed during the licensing process (PDF)? 

Foster care application process

To apply to be a foster parent in Milwaukee county download the application form (PDF). Fax the completed form to Amy Basting at (414) 453-2538 or mail to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin Community Services, 620 S. 76th St., Suite 120, Milwaukee, WI 53214, or email to