Department for Community Based Services

Standards of Practice Online Manual

12.13 Home Environment Prerequisites

Cabinet for Health and Family Services

Department for Community Based Services
Division of Protection and Permanency
Standards of Practice Online Manual
Chapter 12-Resource Family Recruitment, Certification and Reimbursement
12.13 Home Environment Prerequisites

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Legal Authority/Introduction


Clarifications & Contingencies 

  1. Upon approval as a foster or adoptive home, the foster or adoptive home parent(s) must request written approval from the SRA or designee to provide services as a:
    1. Certified provider of supports for community living in accordance with 907 KAR 1:145;
    2. Provider of child care center services in accordance with 922 KAR 2:090; or
    3. Certified family child care home in accordance with 922 KAR 2:100 that provides care for preschool children, school-age children, or both inside his/her own home for less than twenty-four (24) hours a day, provided that the certified child care home does not exceed the number authorized on the publicly displayed “certificate of operation.” Please note that the "certificate of operation" follows the requirements as described below from 922 KAR 1:100:
      1. If the provider cares for more than four (4) infants, including the provider's own or related infants, the provider has an assistant present;
      2. A provider does not care for more than six (6) children under the age of six (6) years old, including the provider's own or related children;
      3. The maximum number of unrelated children in the care of a certified family child care home provider does not exceed six (6). A provider may care for four (4) related children in addition to six (6) unrelated children for a maximum child capacity of ten (10). 1
      4. If the foster or adoptive home adjoins a place of business open to the public, potential negative impact on the family and the child are examined, including the:
    1. Hours of operation;
    2. Type of business; and
    3. Clientele.
  2. If the foster or adoptive home maintains an in-home business, potential safety and negative impact on the child are to be examined, including the:
    1. Hours of operation;
    2. Type of business;
    3. Clientele; and
    4. Safety of hazardous materials (chemicals, tools, etc., used in the business).
  3. The foster or adoptive home parent is required to have access to:
    1. Reliable transportation;
    2. School;
    3. Recreation;
    4. Opportunities for religious, spiritual, or ethical development in the faith of the child or the faith of the child’s family;
    5. Medical care, including but not limited to physical, dental, and mental health; and
    6. Community facilities.
  4. foster or adoptive home parent who drives should:
    1. Possess a valid driver’s license;
    2. Possess a proof of liability insurance; and
    3. Abide by passenger restraint laws (KRS 189.125).
  5. Each child is to have a separate bed that is age and size appropriate for the child.  A waiver may apply in child specific foster home approvals. 
  6. Each child under age one (1) is to have a crib that meets Consumer Product Safety Commission standards and as outlined by the American Academy of Pediatrics and 16 CFR 1219-1220; and
  7. The mattress of any age of child must:
    1. Be age and size appropriate for the child.
    2. Meet current Consumer Products Safety Commission Standards;
    3. Be in good repair; and
    4. Have clean tight-fitted sheet that is changed:
      1. Weekly; or
      2. Immediately if it is soiled or wet.
  8. Up to four (4) children, including the foster or adoptive home parents’ own children may share a bedroom. When children share a bedroom, thorough consideration is given to age, gender and background.
  9. Children of different genders over the age of 5 do not share a bedroom, unless approved by the FSOS and the following conditions are present:
    1. The children are siblings;
    2. There are no identified risk factors regarding sexualized behaviors or physical aggression;
    3. There is a plan in place to allow for the children's privacy in dressing and meeting hygiene needs.
  10. Except for approval by the SRA or designee, a foster or adoptive home parent or other household adult does not share a bedroom with a child in the custody of the Cabinet.
  11. A bedroom used by a child in the custody of the Cabinet is to be comparable to each bedroom in the house.
  12. The physical condition of the foster or adoptive home may not present a hazard to the safety and health of a child, and should:
    1. Be well heated and ventilated;
    2. Comply with state and local health requirements regarding water and sanitation.
    3. Provide access to indoor and out-of-door recreation space appropriate to the developmental needs of a child placed in the foster or adoptive home.
    4. A properly functioning kitchen;
    5. A properly functioning bathroom, with a sink, toilet, and tub/shower.
  13. The following items are to be inaccessible to a child:
    1. Alcoholic beverages;
    2. Poisonous or cleaning material;
    3. Ammunition;
    4. Firearms; and
    5. Medication (prescription and non-prescription), unless a child is approved by a health care professional to self-administer medicine under the supervision of the foster or adoptive parent, or emergency access to the medication may be necessary to save child's life, such as in the case of severe allergic reaction or asthma attack.  Measures are taken to prevent unauthorized access by another child in the same home.
    6. A dangerous animal is not to be allowed near the child.
    7. All household animals are appropriately vaccinated as required by KRS 258.015 and KRS 258.035.  Animals requiring vaccination include: cats, dogs, and ferrets.  Exceptions for vaccination may be considered on case by case basis in situations that would not pose a risk to the child and documentation is obtained from the veterinarian.
  14. First aid supplies are to be available and stored in a place easily accessible to an adult or caregiver.  This should  include supplies necessary to address minor cuts, scraps, or injuries that do not require the intervention of a medical professional:
  15. When a child is in need of an over the counter medication the foster or adoptive parent should consult with a physician or health care provider,2 before administering the medication, if there are any questions. Consultation may include:
    1. If the child is old enough to receive the medication;
    2. Information regarding the appropriate dosage according to weight or age;
    3. Whether the child may have an allergy to the medication; or
    4. Any other concern a foster or adoptive parent may have before administering the over the counter medication.
    5. Contact with the managed care organizations who often offer around the clock nurse hotlines which can be helpful in instances when the primary care physician cannot be accessed
  16. A working telephone is to be accessible to the home.
  17. The home is to be equipped with a working smoke alarm within ten (10) feet of each bedroom and on every level of the home.
  18. A home with gas heating or appliances is to be equipped with a working carbon monoxide detector.
  19. Swimming pools will meet state and local requirements regarding safety precautions.  If a home has a swimming pool the safety and supervision plan will be addressed in the safe home study narrative and annual re-evaluations.
  20. Household members may not smoke in the home, vehicle, or in the presence of a child by whom their physician recommends a smoke free environment. 
  21. If a new adult moves into an approved foster or adoptive home where a child is already placed by the Cabinet, including marriages, per SOP 12.17 Foster and Adoptive Home Reviews, the child may remain and additional children may be placed if the new adult:
    1. Completes training within six (6) months of entering the home; and
    2. Meets all other requirements for a foster or adoptive home parent.


  1. The foster child in placement will be considered one of the provider's own children.
  2. A health professional is a person who is actively licensed in Kentucky as a physician, physician's assistant, advance registered nurse practitioner or a registered nurse under the supervision of a physician. A pharmacist can assist in answering questions about over the counter and prescribed medications.


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