Foster Care for Adults

Woman holding elderly woman

COVID-19 Update 03/23 10:00AM​

COVID-19 update regarding DHS licensing

March 20, 2020

Governor/DHS Suspending Certain Licensing Regulations

The DHS Licensing Division would like to thank you for your commitment to Minnesotans in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. On a typical day, the services you provide are critical to the health and safety of residents across the state and keep Minnesota’s economy moving. In this environment, they are more important than ever. Thank you for the critical role you play in our community.

Today Gov. Tim Walz, issued Executive Order 20-12 and Human Service Commissioner Jodi Harpstead is suspending certain licensing requirements and activities to allow greater flexibility in these challenging times. This will give providers the necessary regulatory flexibility to comply with recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by modifying certain licensing requirements and ensuring the best interests of your clients and communities are met.

To assure the DHS Licensing is not interfering with the work providers are doing to care for their clients or service recipients during this pandemic, the Department of Human Services is suspending or modifying most licensing enforcement activity until May 1, 2020, as follows:

  • Suspending routine licensing and certification reviews. (under 245A, 245H.05)
  • Continuing to respond to critical incidents involving high risk of harm to clients or allegation of abuse and neglect — and prioritizing on-site visits as needed on a case-by-case basis. In addition, DHS Licensing staff, county licensing staff and private licensing agencies will communicate with and provide technical assistance to providers to the greatest extent possible, using remote technologies that support social distancing and community mitigation.
  • Conducting on a case-by-case basis inspections for licensing applications, pre-licensure visits and change of premises inspections (under 245A.04). This is in order to prioritize enabling programs to provide additional capacity. DHS Licensing staff, county licensing staff and private licensing agencies will conduct these activities to the greatest extent possible using remote technologies that support social distancing and community mitigation.
  • Suspending payment of outstanding fines previously ordered (under 245A.07)
  • Suspending the issuance of fix-it tickets for licensed family child care providers and licensed child care centers (under 245A.065) and providing technical assistance
  • Suspending the issuance of correction orders (under 245A.06) and providing technical assistance
  • Suspending the issuance of fines under 245A.07
  • Suspending the issuance of licensing actions other than Temporary Immediate Suspensions under 245A.07, subdivision 2 unless necessary to enforce pandemic or licensing regulations as necessary to enforce the health and safety of those receiving care or services.
  • Automatically extending for three months licenses for family child care, child and adult foster care and community residential settings that are set to expire during March, April or May 2020; any training, re-licensing or documentation requirements are extended. (245A.04, 245A.16 )
  • Extending training timelines for existing staff and license holders that expire during the declared peacetime emergency and cannot be met. Further direction on orientation and training will be coming.

County licensing agencies and private placing agencies are expected to comply with these suspensions or modifications of licensing activities. (245A.16)

The Department will provide additional guidance by March 27, 2020, to license holders on COVID-19 modifications to the background study process .

Any additional suspensions or modifications to licensing requirements will be specific to each type of service provided and will be communicated to programs electronically and will be posted on the DHS COVID-19 and the Licensing website.


Providers Should Follow MDH and CDC Guidance

Providers should first and foremost follow the guidance provided by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) available at the resources listed below. If a DHS requirement seems to conflict with this guidance, follow the MDH and CDC guidance:


COVID-19 Hotlines

  • Health questions: 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903 (7 a.m. to 7 p.m.)
  • Statewide hotline for child care providers only: 1-888-234-1268 (7 a.m. to 7 p.m.)


Additional information

  • Child care providers, please also see the Child Care Update distributed by the Governor’s Children’s Cabinet earlier today.
  • For COVID-19 information related to DHS programs, vist


Thank you again for the critical services you provide.

DHS Licensing Division

COVID-19 Updated 3/19 10:00 AM

Scott County Foster Care Adult Family and Corporate Providers,

Thank you for your continued work with the adults of Scott County. Our licensing team would like to thank you for your continued patience as our leadership teams monitor the spread of COVID-19 and evaluate the implications of the virus. Scott County is dedicated to protecting the health and safety of Scott County employees as well as our residents. As a result, there have been some new changes implemented that we feel are important to share with each of you.

On Tuesday, March 17, 2020, the County Board declared a State of Emergency in Scott County due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As some of you may have seen in Scott County publications, immediate action that was taken which included the closing of all Scott County buildings, including libraries, to the public effective March 17, 2020 at 4:30pm. These closures will remain in effect until at least April 1st.

Another change that has been implemented at the county includes the suspension of in-person visits whenever possible effective 3/17/2020 through 3/31/2020. These visits include any of your annual and relicensing visits, as well as any on-going licensing visits with new applicants to help them thought the licensing process. Your licensor will be reaching out to you to schedule and plan alternative methods for some of these scheduled in-person visits. Examples of these alternative methods could include telephone calls, video calls, text messages, or email. Although the Scott County buildings have been ordered to close to the public, your licensor is available and will still continue to be a resource for you with any questions that may arise at your home or corporate site.

 For providers who have a current placement or to those who could potentially receive a placement:

  1. Scott County would recommend you consult with case managers and family to see if typical family visits should continue based on if the client or family having an underlying health condition that puts them more at risk.
  2. If they choose to waive a visit, we would encourage another form of electronic communication, if possible, (video chat, phone call, etc).
  3. If the client or family member is showing any signs of illness, this should be communicated to the case manager as it could result in the cancellation of a visit.
  4. As recommendations are changing daily, we will refer you to the below resources regarding taking clients out for community outings and information on social distancing.

As the situation continues to develop, we will share all pertinent information as soon as it is available to us. Our top priority is safety for all involved – this includes the individuals in your care as well as you and your family. 

Here are some resources to help support and inform you:

 This is uncharted territory for all of us and we are here to listen and answer questions as best we’re able. Please know how much we appreciate you and your compassion for adults in need. You are providing an essential service and we thank you.  Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your licensor with questions or to email with concerns. 

Thank you.

Scott County Foster Care Licensing

About Foster Care

Adult foster care providers offer a family-centered living situation in their home that provides adults protection and assistance with personal care. Adult foster care provides people with a community living alternative which includes the normal support of everyday life - family, friends, job or training activities, recreational opportunities, and the privacy and comfort of a home setting.

Scott County Foster Care elder women embraced by loving care giver
As an adult foster care provider you will help people help themselves. The Scott County Minnesota Foster Care Program believes that people are happiest when living active and purposeful lives in their own community.

People living in adult foster care homes are men and women, 18 years of age and older, who, because of mental or physical disability, cannot live independently. This living arrangement is intended for single persons or husband and wife, with no more than four such persons in a single-family home. The care may be provided by single or married people over the age of 21 who meet the qualifications and criteria established for providers of adult foster care. For additional information, please visit the Requirements page.

Reasons for Care

Individuals placed in adult foster homes have varying diagnoses, and, in fact, often have a combination of diagnoses. Foster homes can serve individuals who are developmentally disabled, mentally ill, physically disabled, elderly and sometimes persons who are chemically dependent. These individuals must have a social worker/case manager involved in their lives who assess the need for placement, structure the terms of placement, and follow-up to determine if the placement is suitable.

People living in adult foster care homes often come from unsafe living situations and need support to transition from an institutional setting to a more mainstream lifestyle within their community. Adult foster care homes provide room, board, and laundry services as well as assistance with taking medication and personal hygiene.

Additional certification and licensure may be required to be able to accept waiver funding for adult foster care placements. Please contact the Minnesota Department of Human Services for more information by calling 651-431-6624.

Adult Foster Care Program Placement

If foster care is appropriate, the county foster care licensor is notified. The licensor will then check into the availability and willingness of foster care homes to accept a new resident.

At this time, a pre-placement visit to the prospective foster care home is arranged. The purpose of the visit is 2-fold: 1) for the prospective resident to see the house and surrounding community; and 2) for the resident and provider to meet and get to know each other, as well as any roommates to see if this living arrangement would work out.
If everyone agrees the arrangement is acceptable and the provider can meet the adult's needs, plans for placement are initiated. If either party declines, other plans are made. No arrangement is necessarily permanent and either party may terminate the agreement should the need develop.

Types of Placement

Placements in Adult Foster Care tend to be longer term, based on the needs of the adult in care. For some individuals, this may mean a placement of six months to a year to stabilize their mental health and transition to an independent living arrangement. For other individuals, they could need to be in an environment like an adult foster home for their entire life. There are also needs for respite care for adults, which would be planned short-term care to give the primary caregiver a break.

For More Information

For more information about being a foster care provider, please visit the What to Expect page or contact the Scott County Minnesota Foster Care at 952-445-7751 or email.