Family Development

Program Overview

Family Development is dedicated to supporting prospective caregivers on their journey to become licensed foster and adoptive parents, ensuring they are license-ready to offer safe, healing, and nurturing homes to children in need within 120 days. Our team of specialists offers invaluable resources and guidance, assisting families through the MO pre-service training, assessments, and home studies. We work collaboratively with other child welfare agencies to facilitate the licensing process, providing ongoing support and removing any barriers to placement to ensure the stability of children and families.

The program provides:

  • The required MO pre-service training.
  • The SAFE home-study assessment/narrative.
  • Assistance throughout the licensing process.
  • Support during the first two years of licensure.

Our team of specialists has abundant child welfare experience and provides ongoing support and advocacy. The Family Development Program recognizes the significance of maintaining placement stability in reaching permanency goals more efficiently. Once licensed, The Family Development Program will begin the two years of support guiding the licensed foster parents to navigate the child welfare system, provide agency and community resources, and advocate for collaboration among team members.


  • Non-relative individuals and families interested in providing a loving home for children impacted by the foster care system.
  • Residency in St. Louis City, as well as the counties of St. Louis, St. Charles, Franklin, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Warren.
  • Successful completion of child abuse/neglect and criminal background screenings.
  • Minimum age requirement of 21 years or above.
  • U.S. citizenship.

What to Expect

The Family Development Program includes comprehensive assessments and evaluations to determine the prospective foster parents’ eligibility, needs, and suitability for licensure. This assessment thoroughly evaluates the home environment, background checks, and interviews to assess the family’s character, goals, and preferences. The assigned Specialist will provide unwavering support and guidance throughout the entire process.

Upon licensure, the assigned Specialist will provide monthly contacts to establish rapport, provide resources, and schedule in-person meetings as needed. Families can expect trusted specialists to possess knowledge of the child welfare system, an advanced understanding of behavioral management, and an all-encompassing awareness of agency and community resources.

Program Goals

Family Development’s primary goal is to ensure timely licensure readiness for trauma-informed families. We strive to reduce the number of placement disruptions while empowering families to commit to placement stability. We provide compliance with federal, state, and local regulations and standards in all foster care services and practices while maintaining effective partnerships with child welfare agencies and community organizations. By understanding the unique needs of foster and adoptive children, the Family Development Program aims for each child to receive the consistent and nurturing care they require to thrive. Our specialists work tirelessly to connect caregivers with local resources and community services and empower families to expand their knowledge of trauma-informed care. In collaboration with RESPOND, the Family Development program prioritizes increasing the number of culturally competent, trauma-informed foster homes, demonstrating an unwavering commitment to inclusivity within the foster and adoptive community.


Karen Alyasiry  – Director of Family Development
1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144

o 314.367.8373

Family Development Inquiry Form