Ohio Department of Job and Family Services

Contact Information

PO Box 183204
Colombus, OH 43218
United States

Online Contact Form
Monday9AM - 5PM
Tuesday9AM - 5PM
Wednesday9AM - 5PM
Thursday9AM - 5PM
Friday9AM - 5PM
Saturday9AM - 5PM
Sunday9AM - 5PM
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Foster, Adoption, and Kinship Care

It takes 100% heart to foster and adopt in Ohio.  Every year, people open their homes to children in need – and they don't all have fancy houses or graduate degrees. What they do have is 100% heart.

Choose Your Path

Thousands of children in Ohio need stable, consistent, and loving homes. Becoming a kinship, foster, or adoptive parent is a serious, yet rewarding experience that requires research and preparation. Choose your path below to start your journey.

Foster Care 

Temporary care can have a lasting impact. Choosing to be a foster parent means choosing to give a child love and stabiity at a time when they need it most.


Thousands of children in Ohio are waiting for adoptive families. You don't need to be rich, married, or under 40. What you do need is 100% heart to adopt.

Kinship Care

Kinship care provides a familiar face and a stable environment for children whose parents are unable to do so. Becoming a kinship caregiver is a selfless, life-changing decision.

Services and information

  • Kinship / Relative Care
  • Non Related Kin (NRKIN)
  • Traditional Foster Care
  • Specialized / Therapeutic Care
  • Emergency Foster Care
  • Respite Foster Care
  • Adoption

Requirements to become a foster parent

After deciding to foster, make sure your household members are on board with what will be a life-changing decision to foster. Then, educate yourself about Ohio's requirements for foster parents. Applicants who want to foster or adopt in Ohio must:

  • Be at least 21 years of age
  • Live in a safe and stable home
  • Meet home safety requirements
  • Clear a background check with fingerprinting
  • Provide at least three character references
  • Provide ample space for a foster child in their house or apartment
  • Attend foster parent orientation
  • Take part in required hours of foster parent training
  • Maintain financially stability
  • Prove good health
  • Complete the Home Study process

To apply or ensure you meet the prerequisites, there are two primary Ohio state resources. Contact the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) or a local Public Children's Service Agency (PCSAs).

If you are ready to learn more, contact a local child-placing agency to schedule foster parent information orientation. At orientation, aspiring foster parents learn more about foster parenting responsibilities, navigating the foster system, and the foster application process. If you have questions, orientation is an excellent opportunity to ask questions and meet other potential foster families.

Administrative paperwork can take some time to complete, but having everything prepared will ensure it goes smoothly. It will help the process move along if you gather financial documents ahead of time. These include tax filings and paystubs, which you will need to show as proof of financial stability.

Foster parents in Ohio must also attend 24 hours of pre-service foster parent training. This training teaches foster families about the trauma experienced by all foster children. It also covers how to provide general and specialized care to foster children.

Ratings and Reviews

Average user rating

2.7 / 5
Rating breakdown
If you have an experience with this agency, please write a review.
Teddy Ballgame937
Sep 01, 2023

Absolutely the worst state run agency in the country! Nearly 30,000 innocent Ohioans have been the victims of unemployment fraud. Our information has been handled carelessly without regard. I waited on hold for 2 hours a day for 2 weeks straight before getting through! The "chat" feature on the site is always busy. When I finally got through to attempt to resolve the issue and secure my identity, I was treated very rudely and lied to by multiple agents, that obnoxiously pounded on their computer keyboards in my ears, while intentionally ignoring my requests to disseminate lateral correspondence from agent to agent in an effort to assist me in getting results.
If any of my fellow victims would like to join together for a mass tort to class action suit against the state of Ohio and @odjfs for its incompetence in allowing such a negligent, dismissive, and irresponsible data breech to occur, please comment below.
Also, I'm seeking aggressive legal council to represent us, as this will be beneficial for for all in setting precedence in forcing the state of Ohio to protect our valuable personal information from cyber-criminals going forward. This should not be allowed and will not be tolerated!

Rating: 1

GB Mayer
Aug 16, 2023

3 different times being on hold 4 hrs 35 min. The second time I got cut off after an hour. When I finally got through the lady
Was very helpful

Rating: 3

Shona Carlow
May 23, 2023

Got cut off after 1 1/2 hours waiting.

Rating: 2

Katie Blanton
Mar 28, 2023

They are always super busy. But you can get all your stuff taken care of and one trip and get receipts for everything!

Rating: 4

sofiane nayet
Mar 16, 2023

I'm giving 5 stars for Bobby, she is the best representative i talked to, very polite and professional, they should learn from her.

Rating: 5