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Overview

Some children are eligible for placement into Multnomah County Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities certified foster homes. This page outlines how to apply to be a certified home.

Learn about the requirements, what you’ll be doing and what the process for certification is. There are many foster care options, however, the Child Foster Care Program through Multnomah County’s Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) meets and may exceed what is considered a therapeutic model.

Read about the therapeutic model before you complete the screening form.

Minimum Requirements 

You meet the minimum requirements if all the following are true:

  • You’re at least 21 years of age
  • You’re able to pass a criminal background and child protective services history check (all household members over the age of 18 must pass these checks)

  • You’re able to  complete all Pre-Service training and demonstrate competency in the material presented (trainings will happen after screening)

  • You’re mentally and physically capable of providing foster care

  • You can demonstrate income sufficient to cover living expenses independent of a foster care payment

  • You can provide 4 reference contacts, 3 of which must be not be related to you and who have known you for at least 2 years

  • You have a genuine desire to create a safe, loving, and supportive environment for a child

  • You have strong organizational, written, and oral communication skills

  • You reside in a home that meets structural and safety requirements (foster children may not sleep on a 3rd story floor or higher. This includes apartments or condominiums)

Supporting children with significant medical needs

If you wish to support children with significant medical needs you must also:

  • Provide current references from at least two medical professionals, like a physician or registered nurse, who have direct knowledge of your ability and past experiences as a caregiver

  • Supply a positive written recommendation from the department's Medically Fragile Children’s Unit (MFCU) if you have provided services through the MFCU or have historically received services through the MFCU for a child in their family home or foster home OR

  • Be licensed as a registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, emergency medical technician, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant.

What you’ll be doing as a foster care provider

  • You’ll work with families, agency staff and other community partners,

  • You’ll communicate with all team members regarding the foster child’s progress, your need for additional support, etc.

  • You’ll provide educational support and be an active member of the child’s IEP (Individualized Education Plan) team

  • You’ll be part of developing and implementing a child’s Individualized Support Plan (ISP) and if applicable, a child’s Positive Behavior Support Plan (PBSP)

  • You’ll teach and model skills to children that foster independence and positive self-esteem

  • You’ll arrange for and provide transportation to appointments and community activities

  • You’ll secure and train respite or alternate care providers

  • You’ll maintain records that are timely, detailed, organized and comply with Medicaid standards

  • You’ll have a computer in the home in order to meet administrative tasks and will abide by the Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR’s) for I/DD Foster Care.

  • You’ll apply non-punitive, Positive Behavior Support approaches to shape positive behavior.

  • You’ll apply a trauma-informed approach to foster parenting

  1. If you think the DD Child Foster care program may be a good fit for you, complete the screening form.

  2. Once your information has been submitted, a representative from Multnomah County will contact you for next steps.

Certification process

  1. Multnomah County I/DD staff conducts screening, orientation, pre-service training and preliminary certification approval for I/DD Child Foster Homes.

  2. The certification process takes a minimum of 6 months to complete and participation in the certification process does not guarantee that a home will be certified.

  3. The final decision to certify a home is made by the DD Licensing Unit of the Department of Human Services (DHS) Office of Licensing and Quality of Care.  

  4. Applicants with experience supporting people with intellectual or developmental disabilities, who have worked in a foster care setting or who demonstrate an understanding of Trauma-Informed principles will be prioritized for certification.