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Foster Care & Adoption Services

Children come into the custody of the Lake County Department of Job & Family Services due to a crisis which resulted in the child being a victim of abuse, neglect or dependency.  If the child cannot be placed safely with a relative, the Lake County Department of Job & Family Services is responsible for providing a safe environment for that child.  It is the philosophy of the Department that children grow better in families therefore our primary goal is to find foster care providers who are willing to provide temporary care to children while their families are in crisis.  Foster parents provide care until reunification with a family member can occur.  If reunification is unable to occur children would become eligible for adoption and either remain with their foster parents who make a permanent commitment to care for the child or an adoptive home is secured.

The Substitute Care Unit is responsible for recruiting and licensing foster parents and approving adoptive parents.  There is a specific need for people who are:

  • able to provide a caring environment for children until they are able to return home;
  • able to accept children as they are;
  • stay at home parents who can provide care to a child under six weeks of age;
  • able to parent a sibling group of two or more children;
  • or willing to parent teenagers.

The Lake County Department of Job & Family Services provides support to their foster parents by providing the following services:

  • Personal support from an assigned Substitute Care Social Worker
  • Ongoing training and conference attendance
  • Foster Parent Association of Lake County
  • Respite care
  • Daily per diem rate to reimburse for the cost of providing care
  • Medical, dental and vision care for children
  • Transportation reimbursement (on a limited basis)
  • Foster Parent Handbook
  • Newsletter

Become a Foster Parent

Foster Parents: Who are they and how can I become one?

Foster Parent licensing begins with a 36-hour Pre-service training which is scheduled 3-4 times per year.  The sessions are held evenings or weekends.  During this training you will learn about the special issues inherent to children in foster care.  We will review issues of abuse, neglect, child development, attachment and separation issues and concerns regarding the effects of providing foster care on your family.  The training is followed by a home assessment during which there will be required paperwork and multiple interviews with the Social Worker assigned to your family.  During this process, the agency Social Worker will assist applicants to determine the age, gender and number of children appropriate for placement with a family.  Documentation of the home assessment process is then submitted to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to issue a license.  Once a family is licensed as foster parents, they are required to complete 40 hours of ongoing training every two years.  The agency will assist foster parents by providing a per diem stipend for the care of the child.  Day care assistance is also available for working foster parents.

Become an Adoptive Parent

Adoptive Parents: Who are they and how can I become one?

Children, especially younger children, in the permanent custody of the Lake County Department of Job and Family Services are often adopted by their foster parents.  The goal of the agency is to decrease the number of placements for children therefore potential adoptive applicants are encouraged to also become licensed as foster parents.

Foster Care & Adoption Open House

Lake County Department of Job and Family Services is looking for community members who are willing to step forward and help children who are facing abuse and neglect issues in their young lives.  Kids need you…consider becoming a foster parent to help a child through a difficult time in their life or to support them into the next chapter of their life.

If you are interested in learning about foster care and adoption, you can call our hotline at 440-350-4218, access our website at or send us an e-mail at [email protected].

We also hold an informational Open House for community members.  This is an opportunity where you can come and learn about foster care and adoption as well as meet with Social Workers and Foster Parents to answer any questions you might have about the process. Open Houses are held in person and virtually throughout the year – see below for a schedule!

In Person Open Houses are 6pm-8pm:

Februrary 22, 2024 – Perry Public Library

April 17, 2024 – Willoughby Public Library

June 11, 2024 – Lake County Job & Family Services

August 08, 2024 – LGBTQ+ Allies Lake County

October 23, 2024 – UH Tripoint Physician Pavilion

December 10, 2024 – Wickliffe Community Center

Virtual Open Houses are 12pm-1pm:

Click Here To Register: for December 13, 2023

Please log in starting at 12pm to meet with Social Workers and Foster Parents who can answer any questions.

Waiting Children



Children in Need of Forever Families

If you have a family who is interested in being considered as a permanent placement for any of these children, please contact the Lake County Foster Care and Adoption Hotline at 440-350-4218 or fax 440-350-4010.

Foster Parent Ongoing Training

03-06-24 Engaging Primary Families

04-23-24 Attachment

04-23-24 Mental Health Considerations

05-28-24 Educational Advocacy

06-13-24 Substance Abuse