This is the third entry in a 6-part series on foster parenting. To view a list of all the videos and blogs available in this series, please click here.
During the licensing process, the Office of Licensing and Regulation (OLR) will conduct a life safety inspection in your home. This is to ensure that your home is in compliance with the safety requirements for licensed foster parents. We know this can be a stressful time for families, but no need to worry we have you covered! Simply, look over this document to learn about some of the major safety concerns addressed during the inspection.
*This is a brief overview of the most commonly asked about safety requirements. A full detailed list of safety requirements for foster parents will be given to you during the licensing process by your agency. Your licensing agency will also do a walk through with you to help you prepare for the States inspection.
Medication and Toxins
(Many families attach magnet locks to existing cabinets for the locking of medication and toxins. You can view a sample here)
- Medication must be maintained in a securely fashioned and locked storage, unless:
- The foster child may access their medication specified in their case/service plan
- The medication must be readily and immediately accessible i.e. asthma inhaler or epi-pen
- Refrigerated Medication
- Must be safeguarded in a locked box within the fridge. (Many families use a tackle box with a lock)
- Highly toxic substances are in locked storage (substances that can cause serious bodily harm or death if improperly used)
- Fire arms must be unloaded, trigger locked and locked in a storage container of unbreakable material
- Ammunition must be locked in a separate storage from the firearm
- Other than some provisions for law enforcement officers, no foster parent is permitted to carry a weapon around or near a foster child. This includes individuals with a concealed weapon permit
- 2A 10BC fire extinguisher is to be stored near the kitchen. If you have a multilevel house, you must have a fire extinguisher on all levels
- Families are required to post and review emergency evacuation plans with foster children and maintain a record showing when it was reviewed
- Emergency phone numbers are to be posted in a prominent location (Poison control, 911, non-emergency local police, Family emergency contact, and crisis hotline)
- Smoke detectors are to be installed in each living area and bedroom
- If necessary, a functioning carbon-monoxide detector is to be properly installed on each level of the home
- No animals on the premises should pose a threat due to behavior/venom/disease
- All dogs over 6 months of age need to have documented proof of current rabies vaccinations
Pool Safety and Spa Safety
- If you have a pool and intend to take in children younger than 6 years old, you must:
- Have a pool fence that is at least 5 ft. high
- Keep the pool gate locked, except when in use and there is an adult in the pool enclosure to supervise
- Surround the pool with an enclosure (if your house acts as part of that enclosure you will need to read the Pool Safety section to see how to be in compliance)
- Have a shepherd’s crook and a ring buoy
- Hot Tubs and spas must have safety covers that are locked when not in use
- In addition, a hot tub/spa is required to be fenced in compliance with R21-8-113.B for homes providing care to a child of six years of age or less
- If drained, fenced or unfenced, you must keep the spa:
- Disconnected from all power sources
- Disconnected from water source supply
- Covered at all times
- Each child in your home needs their own bed. Futons, pull out couches, and trundle beds do not constitute a bed
- Children need to be provided with a bedroom but they can share a bedroom with other children. Lofts, or rooms without windows, walls, and a door, do not count as bedrooms
- The state does not allow more than 8 total children, or more than 5 foster children, to reside in a licensed foster home. There are some provisions available for sibling groups
- Children over the age of 6 must sleep in bedrooms with children of the same gender
For a complete list of the state’s life safety inspection guidelines please click here.
This blog entry is part of a 6-part series on foster parenting. To view a list of all the videos and blogs available in this series, please click here.