Foster Care and Adoption

Foster parents provide a safe, temporary home for children and youth whose parents or caregivers are unable to care for them. When a child or teenager is removed from their home and a caseworker is unable to identify a family friend or relatives to care for them temporarily, they are placed in foster care. 

It is important to remember that when a child or teenager is removed from their home the primary goal is usually to return the child or teenager to their parent or caregiver once they can provide a safe and stable home. However, if that option is not available, adoption or another type of permanent home is the secondary goal. 

Become a Foster Parent

There are few limitations on who can be a foster parent, although everyone must pass a background check, complete training and receive a home study from a county human service department or child placement agency. The foster parent training and certification process prepares you to care for and support a child or youth who has experienced trauma, grief and loss, and with whom you have no history. Learn more about foster care and adoption in Colorado.

Hear From Youth In Foster Care

Foster parents open their homes and their hearts to children and teenagers who need love and support. Although most youth in foster care are reunited with a parent or relative, a foster parent’s impact can last a lifetime. Hear what teens say about their foster parents.


Frequently Asked Questions

Fostering can be the most rewarding and most challenging work that you ever do. We know there are many questions about the foster care system, the process to become a foster parent and what to expect once you have become a foster parent. These frequently asked questions and answers are a good place to start. Get answers to common questions.

The Colorado Department of Human Services’ goal is to keep children and youth with their birth families. However, there are certain situations in which that is not possible or in the best interest of the child. In those situations, we seek adoptive families for the children and youth in foster care. There is always a need for families, especially for siblings groups and older youth.

Adoption In Colorado 

Adoption creates supportive, loving families for children, teens and adults. There are three types of adoption: adoption from foster care, international adoption and private adoption. Most adoptions in the United States are through the foster care system.  Learn More.

Colorado Heart Gallery

The Colorado Heart Gallery helps Colorado's children and teens find families. All of the children featured on the Colorado Heart Gallery live in the state and are waiting for an adoptive family to call their own. This project is a collaborative effort among volunteer photographers, the Colorado Department of Human Services and Raise the Future. Meet Colorado kids waiting for a family.

Get Started

Caring for children and youth in the Colorado child protection system is rewarding work that presents many challenges. There are many free support and training resources are available to all Colorado foster, adoptive and kinship parents. Seek support during the good times, so you have a network available during the tough times.  Learn more.

If not you, then who?
Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline
Available 24 hours a day, every day. Anyone witnessing a child in a life-threatening situation should call 911 immediately.