Noble County Department of Job and Family Services certifies Foster, Adoptive and Foster to Adopt caregivers who reside in Noble County.  The Foster to Adopt certification/approval allows families to foster a variety of children while, at the same time, have an approved adoption home study.  If a child in care becomes available for adoption, foster parents would be advised of their option to adopt.  NCDJFS may not deny any person the opportunity to become a foster or adoptive caregiver on the basis of race, color or national origin of the person, or of any foster child or children involved.


Foster / Adoptive Caregiver requirements include:


  • You must be at least 21 years of age to foster/ at least 18 years of age to adopt;


  • Single adults or couples living together for at least one year can apply;


  • You must have sufficient income to meet the needs of your family;


  • Physical examinations must be completed on every household member.  Reports may also be requested from additional physicians, psychologists or other certified or licensed professionals;


  • Five letters of reference are required;


  • You must have a phone and transportation available for your use, as well as appropriate sleeping arrangements for foster/adoptive children;


  • Your home must pass a state fire inspection;


  • 36 hours of foster/adoptive parent pre-service training is required for each parent.  Each foster parent is required to attend 40 hours of ongoing training for every two years that a foster certification is held;


  • All adult members of the home must have a criminal background check completed, this includes checks at the local, state and federal level.


Please note that this is not a comprehensive list of all requirements to become a foster or adoptive parent.


NCDJFS will only accept adoptive caretaker applications from Noble County residents wishing to adopt special needs children as defined below.  Individuals wishing to adopt non-special needs children will be referred to agencies providing that service. 


Special needs is defined as a child who:


  • Is in a sibling group which should be placed together;


  • Is a member of a minority or ethnic group;        


  • Is six years of age or older;


  • Has remained in the permanent custody of a PCSA or PCPA for more than one year;


  • Has a medical condition, physical impairment, mental retardation or developmental disability;


  • Has an emotional disturbance or behavioral problem;


  • Has a social or medical history or the background or the child’s biological family has a social or medical history which may place the child at risk of acquiring a medical condition, a physical, mental or developmental disability, or an emotional disorder;


  • Has been in the home of his/her prospective adoptive parents as a foster child for at least one year and would experience severe separation and loss if placed in another setting due to his/her significant emotional ties with these foster parents as determined and documented by a qualified mental health professional;


  • Has experienced previous adoption disruption or multiple placements.


The foster home certification and adoptive home approval begins with a 36 hour pre-service training which is held in the surrounding counties.  During this training you will learn about the special issues inherent to children in foster care.  Abuse, neglect, child development, attachment and separations issues and concerns  are discussed during this training.  The training is followed by the application and home study process.  The agency social worker will interview all household members multiple times to gather information needed for the assessment process.  The social worker will also assist the family in determining the age, gender and number of children appropriate for placement in their home.  The home study process takes approximately 3-6 months, depending on the availability of the applicants. 


Once the certification is issued by the state, each foster parent is required to complete 40 hours of ongoing training each two year certification period.