Physically, emotionally, and spiritually, we are here for foster families and the youth they serve.

Do you wish you lived in a world where trauma, abuse, and neglect didn’t exist? Do you feel ill-equipped to manage the chaos that results from these issues? Would you love to see every child in a safe and stable home? So does every youth that enters the foster care system.

The love of a family is one of the strongest influences a child or teenager can ever experience. With more than 13,000 Indiana children in foster care today, the need for families that feel a Biblical calling to open their hearts and homes is extremely felt. But ultimately, these youth don’t need foster parents – they need Jesus in the form of foster parents.

Gateway Woods Foster Care exists to provide safe and stable Christian homes for the most vulnerable youth in our community where they will experience God’s love. We provide Gospel-centered services that encourage and promote the development of foster youth. Foster Care is a journey and we strive to walk alongside families who are choosing to provide compassionate care for these youth that are stuck in the system.

"For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease." Job 14:7

Our Foster Care staff is committed to meeting the needs of our foster children and foster parents through frequent contact and visits with families & service providers. We provide a number of services including:

  • Foster Care Training & Licensing
  • Individual Case Management Support
  • Foster Child Placement
  • Foster-to-Adopt
  • Support and Connection with Christian Staff & Other Foster Parents
  • Specific Foster Child Support & Mentoring

If you would like more information about getting licensed to become a foster parent, please fill out the form below.

2021 by the Numbers


Youth Served


Adoptions From Foster Care


Indiana Youth in Foster Care

Fostering Your Community


As foster parents, we have heard and witnessed tragic stories but have also seen the most beautiful redemptions, made possible only by God. We have had the blessing to adopt two of these stories for ourselves and have seen God move His hand over their lives.

Matt & Dawn (Foster Parents)

[Our case manager] is such a gem: servant heart, soft spoken, always ready to listen (and calm me down!), and so supportive. She's available (or someone from Gateway) at any time of day. Oh and [our bio daughter] adores her. Thanks for ALL you do! We think you rock!

Sarah Fiechter (Foster Parent)

We entered this process thinking that we would be able to be in a position to effect children's lives, but the reality is they have effected our lives exponentially more than we could have imagined. Foster care is by default an extension of love, grace, and acceptance, but the hidden truth is that it works both ways. It is one of the most rewarding and challenging experiences we have gone through.

Rik & Meg (Foster Parents)

Foster Care Services

Foster Parent Training & Licensing

Foster parents must be Indiana residents, at least 21 years old, be able to pay expenses completely each month, and have enough space for foster child(ren). Indiana’s limit is six children under age 18 in each foster home (includes the family’s children and any children placed). There are required trainings prior to any placements as well as ongoing training requirements. We train you from a Biblical perspective and cover all training costs.

Foster Child Placement & Foster-to-Adopt

From newborn-21 years old, Indiana foster youth placed in our foster homes are often in sibling groups, are older children, or are children with severe diagnoses that require specialized attention. Should a child be in need of a forever family, our staff will walk alongside families to navigate the paperwork, court dates, and emotions of a situation that can be equal parts painful and joyful.

Foster Parent Support & Advocacy

As a licensed foster family, you’ll have 24-hour physical, spiritual, and emotional support. You are provided a Case Manager with each child or sibling group placed in your home. Gateway Woods is the bridge between the Department of Child Services (DCS) and you as a foster home. We help DCS place children into homes like yours where they can get the specialized care that they need. We also represent you as the foster family and our agency in court hearings and Team Meetings.

Foster Youth Support & Mentoring

Should your family choose to step into the gritty and grievous, yet joyful and life-changing foster journey, you should be aware that leaning into a child’s future means getting up close and personal with their loss and trauma history. Our case managers meet regularly with your family – and the youth in your care – to work through the issues that arise throughout placement. We are available to encourage you in the trying situations, advise you in the hard-to-comprehend situations, and pray with you in all situations.

Meet Our Staff

Dan Sparling

Dan Sparling

Director of Child Placement

Samantha Erickson

Samantha Erickson


Kelsey Laukhuf

Kelsey Laukhuf

Foster Care Case Manager

Danielle Wirtz

Danielle Wirtz

Foster Care Licensing Worker

Megan Dean

Megan Dean

Foster Care Case Manager

Nichole Suvar

Nichole Suvar

Systems Coordinator

Pfc Playground

Send us a message.

Common Questions Image

Common Questions

The whole process typically takes 3-4 months. During this time, you will have a total of four interviews with a licensing worker, paperwork to fill out, and complete preservice training.

In order to be a foster parent, you must be at least 21 years old. Gateway Woods asks that applicants supply a pastoral reference prior to completing licensing. Beyond that, your home must have 50 square feet of bedroom space per child and a place to store their personal belongings. There are a series of background checks that will need to be completed as well as getting First Aid/CPR certified for children and infants (Gateway Woods provides this training).

Currently, the biggest need for foster care in our area are youth between 8 and 15 years old. We also have a large need for foster families who are willing to take in sibling groups.

This number fluctuates, but each year we work with around 50 foster families who are at various parts of their journey. We license families in the state of Indiana within 2 hours of our campus in Leo.

Yes! The licensing process and services available for these homes are identical to all other foster homes.

Foster Parent Applicants are required to go through Resource and Adoptive Parent Training (RAPT) with the Gateway Woods Case Managers which covers a wide spectrum of what you need to know. There are training requirements for each continued year you are licensed – we offer several Biblically-based trainings at no cost to you throughout the year.