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Apply for permission for full-time care

You would like to take in a foster child.


  • Formal criteria:
    • intact family life
    • an age difference between you and the foster child that corresponds to the natural parent-child relationship
    • sufficient living space for a (further) child
      A room of your own is ideal. However, the foster child can also share a room with another child.
    • secure circumstances
    • personal reliability
  • Personal qualities and skills:
    Your attitude towards life, your motivation to take in a foster child, your parenting style and handling of difficult situations are decisive. Other important requirements:
    • physical and mental health and resilience
    • Enjoyment of living with children, educational skills, empathy and patience
    • Openness and tolerance towards unusual or unfamiliar behaviours
    • sufficient time to build up a relationship with the child

Pedagogical training is not required.

Note: You can take in a foster child regardless of your marital status (single, married, civil partnership, with or without children). Your own children play an important role. For the foster relationship to be successful ,you must consider the effects of taking in a foster child on your own children.

Responsible department

The local youth welfare office.

Jugendamt is,

  • if you live in a city district: the city administration
  • if you live in a district: the district administration office

Note: The city of Constance performs the tasks as the local youth welfare agency itself. The city of Villingen-Schwenningen has handed over the municipal youth welfare office to the Schwarzwald-Baar-Kreis on 01.07.2023.


Contact your local youth welfare office and arrange an appointment. The Youth Welfare Office will answer all your questions in a detailed counselling interview and give you information on how to apply for a foster child.

If you have made a firm decision after the interview, apply to the Youth Welfare Office with the necessary documents. The Youth Welfare Office will check your application and arrange further appointments. These appointments will clarify whether you meet all the requirements. The interviews can also take place at your home so that the Youth Welfare Office can get an impression of your living conditions.

Tip: It is important that you familiarise yourself with the consequences and changes that are coming your way and prepare yourself for them. Parallel to the interviews, some youth welfare offices or independent organisations offer information events or seminars. There you will receive reports on the experiences of foster parents as well as further information and can prepare yourself for taking in a foster child.

In a final interview, you and the Youth Welfare Office will make the basic decision as to whether you want to take on the care of a child. If the Youth Welfare Office considers you suitable, it will note you as a possible foster parent.



Required documents

  • extended certificate of good conduct
  • medical certificate
  • completed questionnaire
  • Life report (with information on own childhood, life situation, motivation)
  • Proof of income
  • if applicable, further documents required by the Youth Welfare Office



Processing time

The application phase lasts up to one year.





Release note

28.08.2023 Sozialministerium Baden-Württemberg