Foster Care

Catholic Social Services (CSS) provides foster and kinship care services to children between birth and 21 years of age who are in need of a temporary substitute care, due to a crisis or chronic condition. The goal of the program is to achieve permanency for children in the briefest amount of time, which allows for safety, wellbeing and preventing children from a return to care.

All resource family care service is delivered with a view toward the earliest possible return of the child to the birth family. While the child is in substitute care, the Community Umbrella Agency (CUA) involves the birth family in all levels of care and planning. 

All resource families are encouraged to establish a mentoring relationship with the child’s family.  This relationship will help to support the child and family’s bond while the child is placed in out-of-home care.

CSS staff support the permanency planning process by providing training and education to the resource parent so that they have the requisite skills to assist the child through the reunification process or if reunification is not possible, help the child transition as they move toward another permanency. This permanency may include adoption by the resource family.

The requirements to become a foster parent include:

  • Must be at least 21 years old.
  • Must have a safe, stable residence with appropriate furnishings.
  • Must be healthy enough to provide care for children.
  • Must be able to pass criminal, child abuse and FBI background checks.
  • Must be able to complete the home study process.
  • Must be able to provide support to children and their families.

Learn more about becoming a foster parent

If you would like more information about the CSS Foster Care program, contact us below:

    Consistent with its religious beliefs and legal protections in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, 141 S. Ct. 1868 (2021), CSS is unable to provide certifications for unmarried cohabitating couples and same-sex couples.  CSS does not wish to prevent those couples from applying to become foster parents, so is providing this further information. If CSS is not the right fit for your family for this or any other reason, we recommend that you contact one of the other agencies listed at this address: DHS_Philadelphia_Foster_Care_Agencies_101320.pdf. They can help you complete your application and partner with you as you seek to become a foster parent.