Essentials: New service for foster families, Binti, National Adoption Day

essentials foster care and adoption

Immediate, in-person support and stabilization for foster families

As foster parents, we encourage you to access Hennepin County’s new Family Response service, which offers immediate in-person support and stabilization for children and youth (ages 5-18) and their caregivers.

If you feel overwhelmed by your foster child’s mental, behavioral, or emotional needs, Family Response can help. There are no specific criteria required to initiate Family Response, but concerns may include children or youth who are:

  • Having a hard time with a family member or change in the home
  • Showing aggression or anger
  • Feeling down or less engaged
  • Experiencing worry and concern
  • Having issues at school

The goal of Family Response is to keep youth and families – including foster families – stable at home by helping you determine and connect to the support you need to thrive.

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Call Family Response

  • 612-979-9511
  • Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

More about Family Response

Binti: New platform for foster care licensing

Starting in December, we will be launching a new software platform to simplify the application and relicensing processes for foster parents.

Binti allows you and your licensing worker to complete paperwork and track requirements more easily. It is a simple, mobile-friendly platform, so you can complete steps right on your phone or other device. 

Hennepin County will begin using this system before the end of the year.

Binti will automatically remind you when requirements, such as annual reviews and relicensing, are coming up. If you have a relicensing or annual review requirement due soon after we start using Binti, you may receive an automated email with a link to log in for the first time. Eventually, all foster parents will receive information about how to log in and use this tool.

If you need help using Binti, technical assistance is available through an online chat or by phone. As always, your licensing worker is also available if you have questions.

Respite for kinship families in licensing process


Respite care is when a child in foster care goes to another licensed home for a short time, while the child’s foster parent takes a break, travels, etc.

In an effort to better support our kinship families and the children in their care, reimbursed respite care is now available to relatives as they work through the licensing process. Previously, respite was only available to licensed foster parents.

The Foster Parent Guide will be updated to reflect this change.

To use respite, please refer to the Foster Parent Guide and connect with your licensor to help schedule the respite dates. 

National Adoption Day: Saturday, November 19

November is National Adoption Month

The Saturday before Thanksgiving is slated as National Adoption Day across the United States. National Adoption Day was started to recognize the children waiting for a permanent home within the United States. In Hennepin County, 101 children continue to wait for an adoptive family. 

Hennepin County will observe National Adoption Day on Saturday, November 19. Congratulations to all the families celebrating adoptions, this month and all year. 

Help us find a family for siblings Dennis and Makaila


As foster parents, you know that most children in foster care return home to their families. Some are adopted by relatives or by their foster parents.

When these options aren’t possible, kids still need loving, supportive adoptive families. Many waiting children in Hennepin County are school-age or teens, or part of a sibling group. Help us spread the word and find permanent families for these youth. We are in need of loving families, like yours, that are willing to be a mentor, respite provider, foster family, or possibly an adoptive placement for these youth. 

Dennis and Makaila are among those that wait for a permanent home. Right now, in Hennepin County, over 36% of the children that are waiting to be adopted are a part of a sibling group. Visit Hennepin County foster care and adoption to learn more information or share details with someone who may be interested.


Dennis (15) is a polite, soft-spoken young man. He is cooperative, helpful, and kind. Dennis enjoys science and cars. Dennis would benefit from a family that can provide structure, supervision, and emotional support.






Makaila (11) has an outgoing, big personality. She enjoys having conversations with adults and peers. She is caring, artistic, and creative. She enjoys painting and drawing. Makaila loves animals and dreams of becoming a veterinarian. She would prefer a family who has pets.

For more information on how to adopt Dennis and Makaila, please visit Dennis and Makaila and click on “Ask more about Dennis and Makaila.”

Well-Child checkups and dentist visits

Many children/youth in foster care have ongoing medical and/or mental health issues. This is why the recommendation is for them to have a Child and Teen Checkups (C&TC) well-child checkup within the first 30 days of entering foster care. They should also visit a dentist as soon as possible, as children/youth in foster care may have untreated dental issues.

Children and youth in foster care need health care more often to review the effects of abuse and neglect, for healthy adjustment to foster care and family visits, and for any needed medications and/or referrals.



It can be difficult to find a doctor in your child/youth’s health plan network. It’s important you are both comfortable with the clinic and the provider. Dentists can also be really hard to find.

The C&TC staff are experienced in finding medical and dental clinics. We can help set up transportation and interpreters, when needed.

Let us help you with their health care. We can help you find a doctor you are comfortable talking to at a clinic in their health plan network. We are experts in finding dentists who will accept your foster child/youth’s health insurance.


Call or email us today:

Self-test: receive training credit


To receive an hour of training credit, read this Essentials Newsletter and complete the quiz below.


Once you have completed the test, email it to your licensing worker.



Licensing Worker:___________________________________


If you do not use email, please mail the completed quiz to your licensing worker at:

Hennepin County-HSPHD

Foster Care Licensing

Attn: _________________

300 South Six Street, Mail Code ______

Minneapolis, MN 55487


  1. Binti is a software platform for foster care licensing. True or false
  2. Can all relative providers use respite?
  3. How many days into placement should a child have an appointment for their well-child checkup?
  4. When will Hennepin County begin using Binti?
  5. National Adoption Day is Thanksgiving weekend. True or false
  6. What is the phone number for Family Response?
  7. What percent of children that are waiting for adoption are in sibling groups?
  8. Family Response can help if a foster child/youth is showing aggression or anger. True or false
  9. How often should children have a dental visit?
  10. Family Response serves children and youth of what age group?



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