Although Hamilton County Job and Family Services (HCJFS) doesn’t license foster parents, the agency holds custody of children in foster care. HCJFS caseworkers will visit your house to check on the kids at least once a month. They oversee every aspect of the case, from enrolling a child in school to approving vacation trips. They, along with a guardian ad litem, who is the child’s attorney, advocate in court for what they believe to be in the child’s best interest.

If the child becomes available for adoption, HCJFS is also responsible for identifying prospective adoptive families and ultimately matching the child with the family workers think will best meet the child’s needs.

We work closely with several private agencies who recruit, train and provide support to local foster parents. You choose the agency you’d like to work with to take the required classes and become licensed. When a foster home is needed for a Hamilton County child, we reach out to the list of agencies to find a home that best meets the child’s needs. So it’s important to research them and what they offer to find one you’re comfortable with.

Pick Your Agency

Here are some things to consider:

  • Is the agency’s class schedule workable for you? Some offer classes in the daytime, some at night.
  • What support does the agency offer? Some have caseworkers help transport kids to appointments, for example, others don’t.
  • Does the agency offer the level of licensure you’re interested in, such as therapeutic foster care or medically fragile foster care? 
  • If you decide you want to adopt, will the agency advocate for you? Will it help you identify children waiting for adoption?

Some agencies can license you both as a foster home and for adoption. So if you’re thinking adoption might be a possibility for you, you might want to choose one of the agencies that can do both.

Hamilton County Job and Family Services is committed to ensuring that quality local homes are available for children in agency care. If you are interested in becoming a foster parent for Hamilton County children, contact any or all of the local agencies listed below and request their information packet. You may also call us at 513-632-6366 or email

Adopting Foster Children

Sometimes children placed in foster care become available for adoption. Ohio law gives first preference to suitable family members of the child, then to a child’s foster parents and finally to others who express interest in the child. If a child placed with you becomes available for adoption and you are interested in adopting that child, you can request an adoption home study if you have not already been approved as an adoptive parent. Your foster care agency may work with HCJFS to complete the home study and adoption process.

Local Agencies

Click here to see an interactive list of all the agencies we partner with to help you become a licensed home that is able to meet the needs of children across Hamilton County.