Summer ideas, online invoicing and direct deposit, recognizing providers

essentials foster care and adoption

Summer is coming: sharing free or reduced cost activities for families

With summer on the horizon, we wanted to share a few free or low-cost activities for families:

We recommend you confirm details and eligibility with each attraction before visiting. 

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Share your ideas and win a gift card!

As a foster family, what are some low-cost activities that you enjoy participating in?

Complete this survey to share your ideas, and you'll have the opportunity to win a $10 gift card!

Low-cost activities survey

Entry forms must be submitted by Wednesday, May 24.

Support group survey results 

Congratulations to Danielle and Elizabeth, our March/April gift card winners!

Thank you for completing the survey about support groups. We are still exploring a Hennepin County support group. In the meantime, find a support resources from Adoptive Foster Kinship Connections.

'A privilege to provide care'

Nao Kim photo

May is National Foster Care Month! We’re recognizing one of our outstanding providers, Nao Kim.

Nao Kim is a new and first-time foster parent, having become licensed with Hennepin County in 2022.

Licensor Sunita Persaud describes Nao as resourceful and supportive. “Nao has the ability to meet children where they are, with care and concern,” she said.

Nao says her focus is to provide a safe, loving home. Seeing smiles and hearing laughter brings her joy – and makes the challenges worth it, she said. 

“It is a privilege to provide care,” Nao said.

Nao is open to connecting with other foster parents to discuss strategies and skills, and support and encourage each other on the foster care journey.  

Physical activity and exercise: how to help kids get enough

Physical activity is very important for healthy growth and development of children and youth. There are many health benefits of exercising, including maintaining a healthy weight and lower risk of chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes.

The amount of exercise children need depends on their age.

  • Children ages 3 through 5 years need to be physically active throughout the day.
  • Children and teens ages 6 through 17 need to be active for 60 minutes every day.

Kids who exercise regularly tend to sleep better, may do better in school and are less likely to develop depression.

It may be difficult to motivate children and teens to exercise. Here are a few ideas to help:

  • Make physical activity part of your family's routine by taking walks together
  • Take children to places where they can be active, like a park, basketball court or soccer field
  • Encourage children to pick an activity they enjoy, such as a school sport or karate.


If you have questions or concerns about your child or youth's health, we can help!

The Child and Teen Checkups (C&TC) staff are experienced in finding medical and dental clinics where you will be comfortable talking to a doctor. We can help set up transportation and interpreters, when needed.


Questions? Call or email us today!

Online invoicing and direct deposit


Hennepin County has been working to make receiving reimbursements easier for foster parents.

If you are still signing paper vouchers or waiting for a check to arrive in the mail, consider trying the online invoicing system and signing up for direct deposit.

Online invoicing

Submitting your invoice in our online system is quick and convenient.

Access the online invoice 

Tips for completing the form: 

  • Family foster care providers should fill out all initial fields (such as name, address, phone, etc.) and then select “private.”
  • After you enter your information, enter information about each child who was placed with you during the previous month. You can add additional children by clicking on the “Add a Child” button.
  • Once you have entered all of the information about the children and placements, click “next,” verify and submit your invoice/voucher.

When using the online system, you will receive a confirmation email and the payment will be made within 10 days. You can also track the progress of your voucher and payment through an our online invoicing tracker. Remember not to submit your voucher (either online or in the mail) before the first of the month.

Direct deposit

Foster providers can now enroll to receive reimbursement by direct deposit. 

Direct deposit (electronic ACH, or Automated Clearing House) is a faster, more efficient, and reliable way to receive funds. Payment is deposited directly into your bank account, eliminating the need for paper checks and mail delivery time.

To receive payments by direct deposit instead of paper checks, please complete the following online enrollment form:

Help us find a family for Jarell


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 and 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, who are willing to be a mentor, respite provider, foster family, or adoptive resource for these youth.

Jarell (14) is energetic, athletic, caring, and personable. He is a gifted athlete who especially excels in football but is also talented at basketball and soccer. Jarell's favorite subjects in school are PE and Art, and when he is not in school he enjoys playing video games. Jarell values his friendships and loves hanging out with friends.

Jarell would do best in a two-parent household that is calm, engaging, supportive, and active. Jarell loves animals and participating in child-focused church activities. Jarell would benefit by remaining in the greater metro area of MN-preferably in a diverse community. Following adoption, Jarell would need to maintain contact with some extended family members.

Ask more about Jarell     

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. What is the benefit of completing the Essentials Self-test?
  2. What is one example of how to motivate your foster child or teen to exercise?
  3. There are free or reduced activities in MN for familes. True False
  4. What does Jarell like to do outside of school?
  5. How do I receive payments by direct deposit?
  6. What is one way you can contact Hennepin County and learn more about foster care and or adoption?
  7. Can you submit your voucher anytime in the month? Yes No
  8. Can exercise reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes? Yes No
  9. What was the topic of the previous survey?
  10. Who is Nao Kim?



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