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Foster a Child or Youth

When children experience abuse, neglect, or other hardships, they may need to be temporarily placed outside of the home to stay safe and well. Foster parents step up to be the difference for these children by providing them with temporary care while we work with their families to access tools and supports to create safer environments for their children.


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What You Need To Know

Foster parents can have a lifelong, positive impact on a child or youth. We help by:

  • Providing a dedicated worker to help you navigate the certification and placement process
  • Offering pre-service and ongoing training to build your skills and abilities
  • Connecting you with experienced foster parent mentors, support groups, and social events
  • Providing reimbursements for many of the costs of caring for the children

When children are removed from their parents due to abuse or neglect, they are temporarily placed in foster care to ensure their safety. It is a temporary, physically and psychologically safe environment for children who have experienced neglect or physical, sexual, or emotional abuse.

Children in foster care live with their relatives, foster parents, or – if neither of these is available – in group facilities. With education and support for the birth parents, more than half of children who go into foster care return to their birth families.

Kin are relatives or others who have a “family-like” relationship with a child. As kinship providers, they agree to nurture and protect children who are in current or impending danger with their parent(s) or caregivers. Because they share close ties, kinship providers can care for children in a way that respects cultural values and helps maintain significant relationships in a child’s life. When a child or youth is in need of out-of-home placement, we always look first to place a child with kin. 

Adoptions of children in our care typically occur only after every measure is exhausted to keep them safely with their parents. When that cannot happen, we may seek to place those children permanently with one of our foster parents.

We are the only public source for adoption in Denver. All of our adoptive parents must start with our agency as foster parents. 

To be considered as a certified foster parent in Denver, you must:

  • Be 21 or older
  • Be physically and emotionally healthy
  • Be financially stable
  • Be a US citizen or resident, and
  • Live within a one-hour drive of the Denver metro area    

We are always in need of individuals and families for certain types of specialized foster care. In most instances, these foster parents have specialized training to support children with high needs.

Specialized foster care includes:

  • Therapeutic Foster Care: If you have training in education, social work, medicine, or counseling, therapeutic foster care could be the right fit for you. Therapeutic foster care combines a nurturing family environment with active therapy and treatment to support children with emotional, behavioral, and medical issues. 
  • Medically fragile youth: “Medically fragile” describes children with medical complexities who have multiple, significant, chronic health problems. These foster care providers must have the educational background and/or experience to care for various medical issues.
  • Children’s Habilitation Residential Program (CHRP): The CHRP waiver provides residential services for children and youth in foster care who have a developmental disability and very high needs. Common diagnoses covered by CHRP include autism, Down syndrome, intellectual disability, PTSD, reactive attachment disorder, and bi-polar disorder.
  • Unaccompanied Refugee Minors Program: Unaccompanied refugee minors are foreign-born children (under age 18) who flee their country of origin because of fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. These children, who are without lawful immigration status, parents, or legal guardians in the U.S., are under the custody or legal guardianship of Denver Human Services. We are looking for foster parents to help these youth acclimate to life in the U.S., maintain the connection to their culture, work on developing life skills, get through schooling, and navigate and successfully prepare for adulthood in the U.S.

Get Started »

Join us for a free Foster Care 101 Webinar.

Call us at 720-944-4DHS (4347) or email


You May Also Find Helpful



Get started by attending a Foster Care 101 Webinar.


Learn about the ways we support kinship care families.


Have specialized skills and knowledge? Consider our Therapeutic Foster Care program.


Want to be involved but not yet ready to foster? Consider becoming a volunteer with the CHOICE foster youth mentoring program.


Already a foster parent? See our Providers Corner for upcoming events, support groups, and training opportunities.

What's Involved?

Seven steps to becoming a certified foster parent



Together, we’ve got this.




We all play a role in keeping children safe. To report suspected child abuse or neglect, call 1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1-844-264-5437).


Adult Protection Hotline

Report suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation of older or at-risk adults by calling 720-944-4DHS (4347).


Keep Your Family Strong

Parenting and life situations can be stressful. Here are tips, tools, and resources to help keep your family strong, well, and happy.



Main Office, Richard T. Castro Human Services Center
1200 Federal Blvd.
Denver, CO 80204


Customer Service

720-944-4DHS (4347)

If you need Colorado Relay/TTY services in Denver, please call 711. If you need Spanish-language relay services, please call 800-337-3242.


City Assistance

Call 3-1-1

Outside Denver: 720-913-1311
Emergencies: 911
TTY Service: 720-913-8479





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