DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The state of Ohio is seeing an increasing need for foster parents, and now, a new online tool is making it easier to step up for the task.

According to a release, a new online portal is now available for Ohioans to inquire and apply to become foster or adoptive parents.

“With about 15,000 young people in our foster care system, there’s no doubt Ohio needs more foster and adoptive families,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “I know firsthand the impact this will have, as I was in foster care and then adopted. Anything we can do to improve this process is going to make a difference in the lives of a lot of kids.”

This website portal takes a formerly paper-only process and makes it so families can apply from their homes. It also allows prospective caregivers to select an agency they prefer to work with or to be assigned a local agency at random.

And that isn’t all that is planned for this tool. According to the release, this site will eventually be usable by Ohio agencies, group homes, and residential facilities. When complete, the portal will become a ‘one-stop-shop’ for both current and prospective caregivers to track training progress as well as the home study and certification process.

“As a state, we must give our children the support they deserve to succeed, and that support includes an adult to care for them,” said Governor DeWine. “This new tool will streamline the foster parent and adoption certification process making it more accessible than ever.”

You can explore the portal online here.