Fire safety, May 20 picnic and resource fair, updated Foster Parent Guide

essentials foster care and adoption

Fire safety reminders


Emergency Escape Plans

Each foster home is required to have an Emergency Escape Plan filled out and posted somewhere accessible in the home.

Prepare yourself and your family for a fire or other emergency by taking a few practice runs through your Emergency Escape Plan. The State Fire Marshal informed our foster care team that reviewing and practicing your escape plan is very useful, especially for children. Additional practice helps children retain this information well. 

Fire extinguishers

All foster homes are required to have a 2A:10BC (or larger) rated fire extinguisher accessible, in working order, and serviced and tagged annually.

Here are a few locations for fire extinguisher service and tagging:

  • LVC Companies Edina/Minneapolis: 4200 W 76th St., Minneapolis, MN. 952-835-4600
  • Dehmer Fire Protection: 2241 LaBeaux Ave. NE, St Michael, MN. 763-497-2841
  • ACE Hardware Golden Valley: 7914 Olson Memorial Hwy, Golden Valley, MN. 763-545-9627
  • Summit Fire Protection: 575 Minnehaha Ave. W., St. Paul, MN 651-251-1880
  • Johnson Controls Minneapolis/Rochester: 2605 Ferbnrook Ln. N., Plymouth, MN. 763-566-7650
  • Nardini Fire Equipment: 405 County Road E, West St Paul, MN. 651-483-6631

Smoke alarms

Smoke alarms are another important fire safety tool, and should be checked annually to ensure the battery is still working. Most smoke alarms can be tested by simply pressing the test button located on the front of the alarm. The State Fire Marshal recommends replacing smoke alarms every 10 years.

Find additional fire safety tips from the Minnesota State Fire Marshal  

Foster Parent Guide updated for 2023

Foster Parent Guide on ipad

The Foster Parent Guide is your source for important information about foster care requirements, expectations, and policies.

Download the updated 2023 edition of the Foster Parent Guide (PDF)

The most current version of the guide will always be  available to you at the top of the Hennepin County foster parent website: Click on the “Foster parent guide” link.

Save the date: Picnic and resource fair on May 20

This year's foster care picnic will take place on Saturday, May 20 at Veterans Park (6335 Portland Ave) in Richfield. The event will also include a resource fair for foster parents. 

Please mark your calendar for an afternoon filled with games, prizes, resources for providers, lunch and more!

More information will be included in future Essentials.

Your thoughts on support groups, welcoming children to your home

Are you a licensed foster parent interested in participating in a Hennepin County Child Foster Care License support group? Please complete this survey and you'll have the opportunity to win a $10 gift card!

HC Child Foster Care Support Group Survey 

Entry form must be submitted by Wednesday, March 15. 


Welcoming children: What you shared

In our last issue, we asked you to share your tips for welcoming children to your home.

Congratulations to Josephine and Lauren, our January/February gift card winners!

Josephine says:

  • Having a straightforward conversation about how and what the family lifestyle looks like now and what it could look like having them a part of the family.
  • Allowing them to ask questions and showing them around the home seeing where their room would be, meeting everyone in the home.
  • If they had more questions after the visit, feeling free to call with the worker's permission.

Lauren says:

  • Giving the kids options and space if they want it.
  • Validating all their feelings.
  • We got to get a lot of information from the previous foster home and even got to get a lot of their things the day before so their room was set up with things they knew and felt comfortable with.

See more tips for welcoming foster children/youth to your home

MN ADOPT is now Foster Adopt Minnesota


MN ADOPT has changed their name to Foster Adopt Minnesota (FAM). The name change comes with an expansion of services, that includes support to the Minnesota foster and kinship communities.

Learn more about Foster Adopt Minnesota

Join Foster Adopt Minnesota for a resource fair at Brookdale Library on April 15

Training information online

Whether it’s your first year of being a foster provider or you're a veteran who has been here for years, you can find a breakdown of what training is required depending on your stage of licensure on our website:

Find up-to-date training opportunities, registration, schedules, Northstar and more! 

The child foster care license training area offers training from the following agencies, free of charge to our foster parents: Hennepin County, Foster Adopt MN, Annex Teen Clinic, and Foster Parent College.

Dental health with Child and Teen Checkups

Cavities, also known as tooth decay, are one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood. Cavities are preventable. Children who have poor oral health often miss school and receive lower grades than children who don’t. Follow these tips for good dental health:

  • Brushing with fluoride toothpaste at least 2 times a day helps remove bacteria that can cause cavities and bad breath;
  • Flossing after brushing removes bacteria a toothbrush can’t reach;
  • Avoid candy and sugary treats when snacking. Snacks such as fruit, raisins, cheese, or nuts are healthy options;
  • Make sure to drink plenty of water and to avoid soda and juice. Drinking water is good for you and the fluoride in water helps protect teeth against tooth decay; and
  • Ask for fluoride varnish while in for a Child and Teen Checkups health check. It is a protective coating that can help prevent cavities and help against cavities that have already started.


It can be difficult to find a dentist in your child/youth’s Health Plan network.

The Child and Teen Checkups (C&TC) staff are experienced in finding medical and dental clinics. We can help set up transportation and interpreters when needed.


Call or email us today:

Help us find a family for Jamie


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 resource for these youth. 

Jamie (11) is artistic, funny, charismatic, and kind. She enjoys connecting with her friends at school, playing with dolls, playing outside, and swimming. Jamie is eager to find her forever home and start building new memories and traditions. She appreciates spending quality time with her caregivers, enjoying special girl days, and getting her nails done. Because Jamie can’t pick just one, her favorite color is the rainbow. Following adoption, Jamie will need to maintain contact with her siblings and her maternal aunts.

View Jamie's profile and Reel Hope video on our website.

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. Flossing _____________ brushing removes bacteria a toothbrush can't reach.
  2. How often do you need to have your fire extinguisher serviced and tagged?
  3. Is there free foster care training? Yes No
  4. Jamie's favorite color is ___________.
  5. The foster care picnic is what date?
  6. Tooth decay is one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood. True False
  7. What are two things that Jamie enjoys?
  8. What is the new name for MN ADOPT?
  9. You can purchase any fire extinquisher for foster care Licensing. True False
  10. Smoke alarms should be replaced every _______years.



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