Becoming a Host Family is a unique and rewarding experience. If you are interested in opening your home to nurture a child in need, follow the simple steps outlined below to become a certified Safe Family Host and Respite Family volunteer.


  1. Submit an Online Application
  2. You may find some of our questions quite personal, but it's important that we get to know you as well as possible. We need to make sure that all Safe Families volunteers are well equipped to handle their responsibilities.

    • Click Here to access the Safe Families online application.
    • From the region drop down, select: Portland-OR.
  3. Submit Three References
  4. It is our policy to recruit Safe Families volunteers whose lives reflect stable personal values and morals. Thus, volunteers need to provide three names of people who can serve as references and attest to this aspect of their lives.

    • One reference must be a pastor in your church.
    • Two references must be a close family member or friend.
    • Email the following address to your three references:
    • Describe its purpose and the importance for your application.
    • Instruct each to submit their completed reference form in a timely manner.
  5. Complete the Online Training
  6. Training provides opportunities for personal growth that can make your experience with Safe Families more rewarding both for you, your family, and for children who may come into your home. Safe Families training is available online and can be completed in about four hours.

    • Click Here to access the Safe Families online training (coming soon).
    • Click Here to watch the Abuse and Neglect Mandatory Reporting Video.
  7. Submit Background Checks
  8. Parents expect their children to be safe. One way to protect children is to make sure you do not have a criminal history of child abuse or violence.

    • Each person in the household over the age of 18 must submit a background check form.
    • No fees are required for Safe Families.
    • Click Here to print the background check form.
    • Fill out the background check form in its entirety.
    • Mail the background check form to:
      Office of Child Care
      Attn: Billie Grant
      875 Union St NE
      Salem, OR. 97311
  9. Complete a Home Study/Safety Check
  10. After each of the above steps are completed, we will contact you to set up time for a home study/safety check. This visit gives us an opportunity to get to know your personal history more, ensure you have a proper understanding of the role you are volunteering for, and answer any questions you might have.

    • Allow up to 2 hours for the Home Study/Safety Check.
    • Have a copy of your drivers license(s) and most recent auto insurance card available.



Marlys Petersen
Cell:  (503) 462-3087