Implications of Immigration Status on Foster Care Licensure

American Bar Association (June 2017)

Foster parents follow guidelines for credentialing that vary by state. Although nothing in federal law prohibits persons with undocumented status from becoming foster parents, many states – but not all – prohibit those who are undocumented from obtaining foster parent status. This lack of credentialing opportunity for those without legal status results in both reduced financial resources to those relatives who potentially want to foster and are not documented and reduced opportunity for children to be placed in kinship care situations when these constraints are prohibitive.

State variations in law and policy are examined here for how they affect foster licensure. A summary version of this resource is also available.

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