Contact Us

(218) 335-8270 Phone
(218) 335-3768 Fax

Mailing Address
PO Box 967
Cass Lake, MN 56633

Physical Address
6035 161st Street NW
Cass Lake, MN 56633

Hours of Operation

Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Service Area

On or near the Leech Lake Reservation - A location that is within the LLR boundaries (60 mile radius) or within 5 miles outside of the LLR boundaries. If off LLR, Leech Lake Band Members ONLY.




Foster Care Program

Child Welfare Logo

The Foster Care Program provides foster care licensing for Native Families on and near the Leech Lake Reservation. The Foster Care Program seeks extended family members or other Native Families to care for children who need to be placed out of the home.

The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe places emphasis in honoring the integrity of Leech Lake families. To support this philosophy, the Leech Lake Child Welfare Program concentrates its efforts in providing supportive services for families to prevent out of home placement and to establish family reunification.

The Leech Lake Foster Care Program provides foster care services for Indian children under the age of 18 years of age, a child in special education, or a juvenile under the jurisdiction of a juvenile court who is under 22 years of age.

When a child(ren) is placed in a foster home, the Child Protection Case Manager will review the child’s case plan with the foster care parent. The foster care family cooperates and collaborates with the Case Manager to ensure that the child(ren)s needs are identified and addressed.

The Child(ren)s case manager visits the foster care home on a monthly basis to review any new developments in the child’s case plan and assess the relationship of the foster care family and the foster child.

Routine monthly visits will also take place by the Foster Care Specialist to determine any issues of noncompliance and establish needs for support.

As reunification plans are made, the case manger and the foster care family will work together to arrange supervised visits with the child(ren) family. If reunification cannot be established, the case manager informs the foster care family for permanency options.

To operate a foster care home

To operate a foster care home the applicant shall be the primary caregiver and shall be legally responsible for the operation of the residence. The applicant or the applicant's spouse must be an enrolled member of a federally recognized tribe and the residence must be located within the Leech Lake Reservation boundaries (60 mile radius) or within 5 miles outside of the Leech Lake boundaries - if off the reservation, Leech Lake enrollees only.

All foster care parents must be at least eighteen (18) years old at the time of licensure.

An applicant will not be issued a license until criminal and child protection background studies are completed and no disqualification factors have been found upon the applicant or any other persons living in the residence who have regular contact with the child(ren).

The applicant must cooperate with a Home Study conducted by the Leech Lake Foster Care Program that includes an interview with all foster care providers and household embers over the age of 7 years old.

All foster Care applicants seeking licensure will be submitted with recommendations present to the Leech Lake Child Welfare Commission for approval.


Step-by-Step Procedures to becoming a Leech Lake Foster Care Parent

  1. Obtain Information by visiting the Foster Care Licensing Coordinator at 213 2nd Street in Cass Lake.
  2. All household members 13 years of age or older will need background checks via Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), Adam Walsh Study, (Background check & finger prints), county check, and Leech Lake Human Servcies check. Once this paperwork is completed, it will take 7-10 days for background clearances to return to the Foster Care office.
  3. If all household members are cleard through the background checks, application paperwork must be completed and returned to the Licensing Coordinator or Foster Care Specialist.
  4. A home visit and interview will be conducted by a Foster Care Specialist.
  5. For relatives only: a 120-day temporary placement can be authorized once the initial home visit is approved.
  6. The administrative process will continue by doing other reference checks and reviews.
  7. The Child Welfare Commission will then grant an approval or denial of the application.

One application process will be used for all foster care license requests.

Basic Requirements

  • Application
  • Background Check, anyone older than 13 years of age
  • Pass Substance Abuse Test
  • Pass a Bureau of Criminal Apprehension background check
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation background check
  • Social Service Child Maltreatment background check
  • Physical Exam
  • Health & Safety Home Visit

The Leech Lake Child Welfare Program complies with the following:

  • The Indian Child Welfare Act, Public Law 95-608
  • The Minnesota Indian Family Preservation Act, Minnesota Statues Sections 260.751 to 260.835
  • The Heritage Act, Minnesota Statues, Sections 259.29, 260C.193, Subdivision 3, and 260C.212 to 260C.215
  • The Interstate compact on Placement on Children, Minnesota Statutes, Section 260.851


Foster Parent Orientation Powerpoint

Agency Training Role

Training and Skills Form - The Child Welfare Program shall keep the Training and Skills form on file for each foster care parent and shall keep it and any updated training information on file for the duration of the license. The form must be made available upon request to the Case Manager of a child placed. The Case Manager shall use the training and skills form to assist in making an informed placement decision.

All required training can, and should take place in a variety of settings and through a variety of methods. For example: group course offered by local agencies of foster parent associations; regular courses offered by vocational schools, colleges, or universities; TV, web-based or correspondence courses; agricultural extensions classes; organizational activities such as conferences, conventions, and seminars; special sessions offered by local agency staff or experienced foster parents and on-site training and skills sessions provided by a qualified trainer approved by the Child Welfare Program.

Foster Parent Training Requirements

  • For a Regular or Relative license, each provider needs a minimum of 6 hours annually.
  • If you care for children under the age of 1 year old you must have Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Syndrome and Abusive Head Trauma (SUIDS/AHT) training.
  • If you care for children 8 years old or younger you must have CARS (car seat) training.
  • Documentation will be collected at your relicensing visit, but you may submit it at any time. Providing documentation is your responsibility. If you do not receive a certificate, you may complete a training form. (Enclosed in your orientation packet)

Year 1 Initial Mandatory Training Requirements for all Foster Parents

  • The license holder, and all adult caregivers in the residence on a regular basis, will be expected to attend mandatory initial training as identified within 120 days of their first year of initial licensing and every 5 years thereafter.
  • There are four mandatory Initial Training Requirements consisting of Children’s Mental Health, Normalcy, Reasonable and Prudent Parenting Standard, FASD (required for all foster providers) SUIDS/AHT – Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Syndrome- Abusive Head Trauma.
  • Previous training will be accepted if course content is similar to foster care requirements- (training form must be filled out for documentation and approved by foster care coordinator)

Mandatory Initial Training Links for licensure required for all Foster Parents–YEAR 1
(Please click on the following links to complete your training)

Car Seat Safety - (Required for Foster Parents if transported child is under 8 years old)

Child Passenger Restraint Training: During the peacetime emergency, license holders, staff persons, and caregivers that transport a child under eight years old in a motor vehicle must review online information on the federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website and watch the “how to choose the right seat” video, as well as car seat installation instruction videos for each type of car seat they will be using based on the age and size of the child/children they are transporting. The date in which the license holder, staff persons and caregivers watch the training must be documented in the licensing file.

Training Requirements to maintain Licensure for Foster Parents-YEAR 2

  • A minimum of 6 additional hours of training are required from foster parents and all affiliated adult caregivers in the home within their 2nd year of licensing.
  • Topics may include but not limited to; adoption & permanency, home safety and emergency procedures, child and family wellness, relationships with birth families and family reunification.
  • Previous training will be accepted if course content is similar to foster care requirements- (training form must be filled out for documentation and approved by foster care coordinator)

Optional Training Links to maintain licensure hours-YEAR 2

The following are some general training topics that could be useful to a foster care parent for their second year of license:

  1. Adoption and permanency;
  2. Skills for handling trauma of separation;
  3. Understanding Indian parenting methods and family structures;
  4. Foster family relationships with placing agencies and other service providers;
  5. Preparing foster children for independent living;
  6. Americans with Disabilities Act and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act;
  7. Privacy issues of foster children;
  8. Home safety and emergency procedures;
  9. Child and family wellness;
  10. Relationships with birth families and family reunification;
  11. Sexual orientation;
  12. Communication skills;
  13. Community services for children;
An appropriate training will be accepted if the applicant receives similar training in their current employee position.

Fail to complete Training

If the foster care parent has not completed the required training at the time of re-licensure and does not show good cause why the training was not completed, a negative licensing action may take place that could cause disruption of services to children.