An informational meeting for those interested in foster care in Washington County is 6-8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5, in lower level room 16 at the Washington County Government Center in Stillwater. The licensing process begins at no cost.

Several foster care options are offered, including:

• For children - Families are needed to open their homes to school-age children needing a temporary place to live. Placements vary in length. Foster providers become part of the team that works closely to meet the child's needs and with the child's parents toward the goal of reuniting the family or finding permanency for the child.

• For teenagers - Foster providers gain new skills in relating to people as they nurture teenagers, enhance teen's self-esteem, and help them become more independent.

• Respite program - Give a family a needed break by caring for children and teenagers with or without disabilities for a few days or a weekend. This care is scheduled on a regular basis and can take as little as one weekend a month.

For additional information regarding child foster care licensing, call 651-430-8307 and ask for a child foster care licensor.

Foster families should be able to provide: a stable family atmosphere (can be a one- or two-parent home); a positive attitude; adequate housing, whether a house or apartment; love and support for the children or adults in their care. Before families can be licensed, they must undergo a thorough screening process which includes an extensive background check.