Licensure Processes and Information


Relatives or kinship caregivers, who are caring for their loved ones in foster care, are eligible to receive additional benefits by becoming a restricted caregiver. Restricted caregivers meet Maryland state requirements to care for children who are in foster care. This is sometimes referred to as licensure.

As a restricted caregiver, you will receive additional support beyond the child’s social worker. You will have a dedicated home worker you can call with questions or get assistance with the reconsideration process. You will also receive a monthly payment and training to help you better understand the needs of your loved ones. Being restricted also makes it easier to continue financial assistance for custody options like guardianship and required for adoption.

Restricted caregivers must meet the following requirements:

  • Are at least 21 years old
  • Are US citizens/permanent legal residents
  • Own or rent a house or apartment (must pass a health and fire inspection)
  • Are in good physical and mental health
  • Complete and pass background clearances
  • Can meet financial household obligations
  • Have healthy relationships and a stable home life

What is the Process to Become Restricted?

The process can take up to 120 days after application is signed and will involve the following (Please note that a DSS worker will assist you with completing the paperwork and the requirements):

  • Caregiver training for all of the adults living in your home
  • A home visit to inspect for safety and to make sure there is enough space in your home for your loved ones
  • A family interview to learn more about your household and family relationships
  • Fingerprinting and child protective services (CPS) history check for all caregivers in your home
  • Fire and health inspections of your home
  • Visit to a medical doctor for a physical exam

Note: You may be eligible to become provisionally licensed and receive  financial assistance while you are in the process of being approved. Please speak with your DSS worker.

Are you Interested in Becoming a Restricted Caregiver?

Your first step is to participate in an information meeting to learn more. To start the process, contact the Welcome line at 410-685-823, or go to

To become a restricted caregiver, you will need to gather the following information:

  • One form of government-issued photo ID
  • Income information (pay stubs, income benefits statements, etc)
  • Monthly bill statements
  • 3 personal references
  • Documentation of marital status
  • Backup caregiver for the child(ren)

For more details about the process to become a restrictive foster care provider, download the fact sheet.