Residential Child Caring Agency Licensing and Child Placing Agency Licensing


What would you like to do?

What would you like to do?

What you need to know

What you need to know

Nebraska Law Requires National Criminal History Records – Fingerprints for Anyone Who Works In a Residential Child Caring Agency. Here are the Requirements and Instructions:

In Nebraska, anyone who provides foster care or adoption services to children and youth must be licensed. There are two types of licenses:

Residential Child-Caring Agency:  An organization which is incorporated for the purpose of providing care for children and youth in buildings maintained by the organization for that purpose.
Child-Placing Agency:  An organization which is authorized for its articles of incorporation and by its license to place children in foster family or adoptive homes.    

How to Apply

Initial Licensing
To apply for an initial license, you must submit an application to the department.
Upon receipt of a completed application, contact will be made to schedule an initial inspection date. You must not provide any services to children or youth in Residential Child-Caring or Child-Placing Agencies until the inspection has been completed and a license has been issued.

All licenses are effective for one year.

Renewal Licensing
All licenses expire one year from the day they are issued.

Notice of renewal is sent to your preferred mailing address not later than 90 days prior to the license expiration date.  To renew a license, you must submit the following:

  • A completed written application
  • Required licensee fees 
  • Proof of limited liability insurance

If you submit a completed renewal application 30 days or more before the license expiration date, the license shall remain in effect until the department either renews or denies the application.
Mail all information to:

Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services
Licensure Unit
Children's Services Licensing
PO Box 94986
Lincoln, NE68509-4986

Amending a License

Any licensee who needs to make a change to the license must obtain approval from the Department of Health and Human Services. To obtain approval, the licensee must submit a completed application to amend the license to:

Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services
Licensure Unit
Children's Services Licensing
PO Box 94986
Lincoln NE 68509-4986

Changes in the license include: 

  • Location
  • Administrator
  • Age range
  • Capacity
  • Space
  • Gender of children 

How to File a Complaint

The department investigates all allegations of licensing violations in children and youth care facilities. Complaints related to a licensed Residential Child-Caring or Child-Placing Agency can be made by one of the following methods:

     Department of Health and Human Services
     Children's Services Licensing
     PO Box 94986
     Lincoln, Ne 68509 

When making the complaint, please include the following:

  • Name of facility 
  • Address of the facility
  • Person filing the complaint and their telephone number (names are kept confidential)
  • Nature of the complaint/date of incident (Please specify the concerns you have about the facility including any names, dates, and times that describe the incident(s); and your relationship to the subject of the complaint/incident(s). Please also include the names of other individuals who may have knowledge of the incident. 


  • Provisional and Probationary License Fees for Residential Child-Caring and Child-Placing Agencies: $25
  • Initial and Renewal License Fees for Residential Child Caring and Child Placing Agencies: $25
  • Duplicate license fee: $10

Fee must be received before a license will be issued. Fees are non-refundable. Cash is not accepted.


You are required to have pre-licensing inspections before you can begin operation. The department will investigate to determine if you are able to ensure the proper care and treatment of children. Types of inspections include:

  • Initial licensure
  • Renewal licensure
  • Complaint investigation
  • Change in the use of the facility (capacity, adding rooms, service)  

Office of  Children's Services Licensing
Department of Health & Human Services/Division of Public Health/Licensure Unit
Phone Number
(402) 471-9278
Toll Free Number
(800) 600-1289
Fax Number
(402) 742-2390
Mailing & Physical Addresses

DHHS Licensure Unit

Attn: Children's Services Licensing

PO Box 94986

Lincoln NE 68509-4986


Nebraska State Office Building

301 Centennial Mall South

14th & M Streets, 1st Floor

Lincoln NE 68508

Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Closed federal holidays.