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How to become a foster family?

Jak zostać rodziną zastępczą

Getting informations. Know the requirements of the act

Check what regulations apply to candidates for foster families and make sure that you meet all the conditions of the Act on supporting the family and the system of foster care. 

Talk to your loved ones

Decisions such as this are not easy and should be made in harmony with everyone in the household.

With Adults:

With Kids:

Contact the resort

The organizers of foster care are most often institutions such as MOPS or PCPR. Find the center closest to your town


The condition for starting cooperation is a written application of the candidates submitted to the organizer of foster care (PCPR / MOPS / MOPR). The first step is to provide the relevant documents and medical certificates.

  • copies of personal documents and copies of the abridged marriage certificate;
  • certificates from a primary care physician and confirmation of the absence of a mental illness;

  • depending on whether the candidate has his own business activity or is employed or unemployed - he is obliged to provide PIT, a certificate from the workplace, the Tax Office or the Poviat Labor Office;

  • a certificate that shows no criminal record for an act intentionally performed;

  • apartment rental agreement, documents regarding the housing situation.

Print the list and check that you have collected all the necessary documents:

Mom and a Child

A visit by an employee of the foster care organizer (PCPR / MOPS / MOPR) to assess the family's housing conditions:

at this stage, the employee will decide whether the child will have its own room in the apartment or whether it will be a shared room or  there is space for your own child's desk etc.


Meeting with the psychologist of the foster care organizer.  The psychologist will check the candidates' motivation to be a foster family and check their psychological predispositions.  In the event of a positive opinion from a psychologist, persons applying for family custody are referred to qualifying training


Free training in a place indicated by the organizer of care for substitutes, which lasts about 3 months. Training usually takes place for several hours once a week and includes:

  • selected legal aspects of children's rights,
  • selected elements of pedagogy, developmental and educational psychology,

  • ways of coping with difficult situations

  • improving care skills

  • basic knowledge about addictions and their impact on the family, children

  • principles of financing foster families

Happy Mother with her Child

After completing the above-mentioned steps, the candidate / candidates receive a certificate (qualifications) that entitles them to accept children.

This certificate includes information about the previously chosen form of foster family, as well as the age and number of children that the candidates can accept into the home.

Czy jest rodzina zastępcza

Watch the Video

Learn the path of becoming a foster parent - from learning what a foster family is to becoming one.

Frequently Asked Questions
What is a foster family?

A foster family is a form of family foster care for a child wholly or partially deprived of parental care.  

The biological family has a limited time to solve the problems for which the child has been referred to a foster family.

In a situation where this problem can be solved - the child may return to the biological parents , otherwise, in accordance with the decision of the family court, the child may be left in foster care or in the event of deprivation of the right to custody of the child, may be referred to start the adoption process and searching for an adoptive family.

Kto może pełnić rodzinną pieczę?

Placing a child in a foster family is carried out by a court decision and after obtaining the consent of the foster parents. The priority of a foster family is given to persons who are related or related to the child, as long as they guarantee the improvement of the child's situation. In the event that relatives cannot act as foster families, the family court indicates marriages, people who are ready to take a child or, by issuing a decision, passes the decision to place the child to the appropriate Foster Care Organizer (PCPR or MOPS).

A foster family is made up of spouses or a single, unmarried person with whom the child has been placed in order to provide foster care over him.  

Foster families are by definition focused on temporary childcare and participate in the work on bringing the child back to the biological family. The foster family does not have full parental rights, but in exceptional cases the court may appoint them as the legal guardian of the child. In the case of biological parents, limited parental rights do not deprive the parents of certain rights and obligations in relation to decision-making, including, inter alia, method of treatment, choice of education, in matters of the child's citizenship, religion, etc. Parents still enjoy civil rights, are obliged to maintain maintenance, and retain the right to contact with children.


Who can act as family foster care?

A foster family or a family orphanage may be created by a spouse or a single person who:

- give a guarantee of proper foster care,

- are not and have not been deprived of parental responsibility and parental responsibility is not limited or suspended for them,

- fulfill the maintenance obligation, if such an obligation arises towards them under the enforcement order,

- are not limited in legal capacity,

- are able to provide proper care for the child, which has been confirmed by a certificate of a primary care physician and a psychologist's opinion that they are predisposed and motivated to perform the function of a foster family or run a family orphanage

- are staying on the territory of the Republic of Poland

- provide appropriate conditions to meet the individual needs of the child,
including emotional, physical and social development, proper education and development of interests, as well as leisure and free time organization.

Dlaczeo rodzina zastępcza a nie dom dziecka?

In the case of a non-professional foster family, at least one person creating this family must have a permanent source of income.

Candidates to perform the functions of professional foster family, non-professional foster family and to run a family orphanage or family foster care should have a certificate of completion of training organized by the organizer of family foster care and qualifications in writing granted by the Foster Care Organizer (e.g. PCPR or MOPS)

Why a foster family and not an orphanage?

5 reasons why foster homes are better than orphanages


Both foster parents and the person running a family orphanage are responsible for the 24-hour care and upbringing of children and the right to take care of the child on a day-to-day basis.

1. Foster parents know their children better


It is not without significance that foster parents have fewer children in their care than carers from an orphanage. Thanks to this, they can get to know children, their problems and establish emotional bonds with them. This is necessary to build a lasting parent (guardian) - child relationship and to help understand the current situation of each child.

Foster parents have the opportunity to provide their children with the right dose of attention, love, kindness and a sense of security, which is so important in shaping the new world of children.


2. A chance for a better start thanks to foster families


Children from foster families have a worthy example to follow - their foster parents. Those can give them their time, love and respect, which children replicate in adulthood. Young people, especially children, need solid and good role models, they learn to function "anew", hence such people have an increased chance of a better start.


3. Foster parents know the children's needs better than the caregivers from the orphanage

In foster families, children can count on spending much more time with them than in orphanages. Common conversations, problem solving and performing all daily activities - these are the building elements of educating a young person and conveying the values that guide us in our lives. Foster parents are with their children 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year round (often they do not take their leave).

Caregivers / educators in orphanages work in a system of 8-hour shifts, during which, in addition to taking care of children, they have to perform many additional administrative and formal activities. For this reason, they leave work quite often, and the children lose the most, each time remaining a feeling of abandonment and broken ties. Moreover, in addition to a few educators, in the lives of children in orphanages there is a constantly changing staff, e.g. director, psychologist, educator, nurse, cook, authorizing officer, administrative worker, etc.


4. Stronger emotional ties with foster parents


The developed emotional ties with foster parents translate later in life into self-esteem, appropriate social relations with peers and other people. Appropriate relationships in the family, a sense of security and mutual respect build the personality of a young person.

In orphanages, children do not have a sense of belonging to the family, often have a disturbed sense of security, ending up with symptoms such as orphan disease.


5. Learning the right patterns


Children, observing the correct family model, learn anew the social roles functioning in the family, what a healthy relationship of loving people looks like, which is why their chances of creating a valuable relationship and their future own family increase.

Jakie są rodzaje rodzin zastępczych?
What is important when assessing the predisposition of an unrelated foster family ?

Psychophysical predispositions of candidates for the function, depending on the type of foster family:

- Skills necessary to care for children with special needs,

- Experience in working with children with special needs,

- Information enabling the assessment of the candidates' functioning in the local environment,

- Candidates' housing conditions allowing for the admission of a child with special needs

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