Essentials for foster parents: in-person support group meetings, higher education grants, summer sun safety

essentials foster care and adoption

Fostering Independence: grants for students who were in foster care



Last fall, 389 former foster youth were awarded a Fostering Independence Grant to pay the full cost of their tuition, fees, and living expenses at a college in Minnesota.

Minnesotans under age 27 who were in foster care at any time after age 13 are eligible for Fostering Independence grants. This includes former foster youth who returned to living with their parents, whose foster parents adopted or took custody, or who aged out of foster care.

To apply, a student simply needs to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and be accepted by one of the many participating institutions. They include 2-year and 4-year colleges and public and private universities. Find a full list of participating colleges and universities.

The cost of higher education can seem like an insurmountable barrier for many young people. If you know current or former foster youth who may not know that this help is available to them, please reach out and share!

More information about Fostering Independence Higher Education Grants 

Concurrent Families Support Group


We are happy to announce that our Concurrent Families support group has resumed in-person meetings, near the Caribou Coffee at Ridgedale Center (12401 Wayzata Blvd., Minnetonka).

If you have children in care, have adopted, hope to adopt, or are simply looking to connect with other foster providers, please consider joining us! 

For more information or to be added to our invite list, please contact and copy your licensing worker.

St. Paul Saints celebrate foster families


Thank you St. Paul Saints for providing Minnesota foster parents with tickets to the foster parent appreciation game on Thursday, May 4. What a great way to support and thank our foster parents!

Hennepin County foster provider Lori Stotesbery (pictured below) was one of a handful of foster providers to throw a ceremonial first pitch. 



Summer sun safety

For many of us, summer is the best time of the year, especially after a long Minnesota winter. You can help keep your child/youth in foster care safe by following these skin safety tips:

  1. Use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or greater. It should be water resistant and applied 20 minutes before going outside. Reapply every 2-3 hours or after prolonged exposure in the water.
  2. Wear a wide brimmed hat to protect the face, ears, eyes, and neck.
  3. Wear sunglasses that wrap around and block and UBA rays.
  4. Have children wear breathable clothing, such as cotton, when in the sun.
  5. Stay in the shade whenever possible, but especially between 1-3pm when the sun is the strongest.


If you have questions about your child or youth's health, talk to their clinic.

We can help!

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


Questions? Call or email us today!

We would love to hear from you


Share your ideas and win a gift card!

With each newsletter we are committed to providing you with helpful resources and annual reminders. Let us know what you would like to see in future publications. 

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

What are some future topics you would like to hear about.

Entry forms must be submitted by Monday, July 24.


Your ideas for low-cost summer activities 

Congratulations to Donna and Julie, the May/June gift card winners! Thank you for sharing these summer activity ideas:

Donna shared:


Julie shared:

  • Being I have an older child, outdoor music festivals are fun
  • Movies in the park, drive in movies
  • Baseball games
  • Food truck festivals

Other ideas submitted included going to the beach and playgrounds, museum memberships, state parks, bowling, sculpture garden, BBQ, Minnesota or Como Zoo, Mall of America, and nature walks.

Help us find a family for Sonny


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.

Sonny (9) is a happy, giggly, engaging, sweet boy who loves to play with trucks and superhero action figures. He enjoys being outdoors, going to the park, shooting hoops and playing soccer. Some of Sonny’s favorite activities include playing hide and seek, going for drives in the car, and riding roller coasters. Sonny may take some time to warm up to new people, however once he gets to know and like you, he can be quite chatty. Sonny would do best in a two-parent home with no younger children.

Ask more about Sonny

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 time is the sun the strongest?
  2. Who should you email to get more information regarding the Concurrent Familes Support Group?
  3. Ages 9-30 who were foster children can apply for the Fostering Independence Grant.
  4. How to apply for Fostering Independence Grants.
  5. Who threw out the first pitch from Hennepin County?
  6. What are 2 examples given for low-cost activites for the summer?
  7. What day was the Saint Paul Saint game for foster providers?
  8. Use sunscreen with SPF of 30 or greater while outdoors.
  9. Are Fostering Independence Grants for College?
  10. What is the topic of the Survey in the Essentials?



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