Families and Individuals

Now more than ever, Tennessee’s children need a safe and supportive place to call home. Becoming a foster parent is a wonderful opportunity to help cultivate a seedbed of opportunity for vulnerable youth. Regardless of if you want to expand your family, see the world from a different perspective, serve as a mentor or role model, provide a safe and stable place for a child, or all of the above, becoming a certified foster parent in Tennessee is the first step towards the rest of your story.
Opening your home is a bold step. You have the power to change a child’s life. We stand ready to support you.

Foster Care

In deciding if you are ready to become a foster parent, the first step is to get more information. The Tennessee Department of Children Services carefully assesses all applicants, and the department also provides the opportunity for prospective foster parents to work with a case manager to assess before they accept the role of foster parent.
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Am I Eligible to Foster?

Foster Parents can be:
Single or married with, or without, children of their own
Minimum Requirements:
• At least 21 years of age
• Must be fingerprinted and pass a background check
• Participate in an Informational meeting
• Must complete a training program called TN-KEY
• Participate in a home study;Provide documentation of a sufficient income
• Complete a health exam
To foster, you must be able to:
• Give without the expectation of immediate returns
• Have room in your home and in your daily life
• Learn and use proven behavioral management skills
• Love and care for children with problems
• Support birth families and help a child return home

Foster Care Training

TN KEY (Knowledge Empowers You)
TN Key ( Knowledge Empowers You) offers training for prospective foster parents. Before beginning a Tennessee KEY group, prospective foster parents must attend an informational meeting. The state is divided into 12 DCS operational regions, and each region offers training scheduled according to the size and needs of the counties they serve.
Become a foster parent through a Tennessee Private Provider or learn more about the various providers/agencies in your area?  Check out TN Alliance for Children and Families and click your Region to locate a private provider in your county.   For a list of upcoming Informational Meetings hosted by Private Providers across the state, please click HERE.
Please note, this is not a comprehensive list of statewide providers nor do we recommend specific providers. We encourage all prospective foster parents to research and identify an agency that best suits your qualifications.


Are you interested only in adopting? If so, please understand up front the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services does not recruit “adopt-only” homes. Approximately 80% of the children who are adopted from foster care are adopted by the families who already are, and have been, their foster parents.

DCS’ practice is to work with individuals who sign up to become foster parents, and then, if a child in DCS custody becomes available for adoption, the family caring for that child is the first option for adoption. This helps ensure the child already has a relationship with potential adoptive parents who have helped him or her navigate change, trauma and uncertainty and already long offered comfort, safety and love.


Powered by Show Hope, this educational website is designed specifically for those interested in pursuing private, domestic adoption, and/or intercountry adoption.
Learn More
April 9, 2021
Show Hope’s new Hope for the Journey Conference (formerly the Empowered to Connect Conference) seeks to encourage and better equip parents and caregivers meeting the everyday needs of children impacted by adoption and/or foster care as well as resource faith communities in their support of these parents, caregivers, and families.

In support of TN Fosters Hope, Show Hope is offering free registration to Churches and Houses of Worship interested in hosting the new conference premiering April 9, 2021, with on-demand viewing available through May 31, 2021.

The Connected Child

“The Connected Child,” written by Drs. Karyn Purvis and David Cross along with Wendy Lyons Sunshine, helps parents and caregivers connect with their children by building bonds of trust and effectively addressing learning and behavioral issues. Made possible by Show Hope, receive an access code to a free copy of “The Connected Child.”

Get Your Free Copy
Get Involved as a Family or an Individual
For more information on how you can get involved, please fill out the form below and learn how you can become part of our story.
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Meet the Tennessee kids available for adoption!
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