New Resource and Upcoming Webinar on Kin-Specific Foster Care Licensing
Read NARA's announcement here.
The resource is available online and can be downloaded and printed as a four-page PDF.


View/Download the Resource HERE
The webinar, titled "Kin-Specific Foster Home Licensure: Overview of New Federal Rule & Release of Recommended Standards," will take place one week from tomorrow, on Wednesday, October 11, 2023 at 4:00 p.m. ET. Everyone who registers will receive a link to the recording after the event.


Register for the Webinar HERE


About the Rule and the Webinar
On September 28, 2023, the U.S. Administration for Children and Families (ACF) issued a final rule that explicitly gives all Title IV-E child welfare agencies the option to use kin-specific foster care licensing standards and encourages them to limit those standards to federal safety requirements. This change will allow more children to be cared for by those they know and love and be financially supported like children with non-kin foster parents.
Under the new rule, Title IV-E agencies that want to establish kin-specific licensing or approval standards have two, long-standing federal requirements:
  • Conduct criminal and child abuse background checks under the federal Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act. 42 U.S.C. §671(a)(20)
  • Align their kin-specific licensing or approval standards “reasonably in accord with recommended standards of national organizations…including standards related to admission policies, safety, sanitation, and protection of civil rights, and which shall permit use of the reasonable and prudent parenting standard.” 42 U.S.C. §671(a)(10)(A)  
To help agencies implement this federal rule by fulfilling the long-standing requirement to align with nationally recommended standards, draft kin-specific approval standards have been developed by a coalition of national nonprofit organizations: A Second Chance, Inc., American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law, Children’s Rights, CWPolicy, Generations United and its Grandfamilies & Kinship Support Network: A National Technical Assistance Center, National Association for Regulatory Administration, New America’s Resource Family Working Group, National Indian Child Welfare Association, and Think of Us.
Join us as we unveil the first draft of these new model standards!
  • Learn what the new kin-specific approval standards include, and how they were developed
  • Hear from multiple leaders about the benefits they expect to see from Title IV-E agencies adopting these new standards
  • Learn where to start developing a kin-specific licensing process in your agency
  • Bring your questions for a live Q&A session



Remembering Former NARA Board Member, Pauline Koch

It is with our deepest condolences that we share the unfortunate news that Pauline Koch passed away on December 3, 2022.

She was an essential part of the foundation that was built for NARA on which we continue to operate and grow today. She served in many roles on the NARA Board of Directors as well as numerous roles in other professional associations. On September 1, 1998, Pauline began serving as the first NARA Executive Director and set a high bar for all who have, and will, come after her in this role.

I [Jim Murphy] still remember back to my first conversation with Pauline when she was NARA's Executive Director and the openness to collaboration, the willingness to explore opportunities, and the incredible collegial nature of her presence and demeanor. I looked forward each year to seeing and interacting with her at the NARA Licensing Seminars and her warm and engaging smile that greeted us all. You can also find additional information about Pauline's career on NARA's History.


Remembering Former NARA Board Member Eloise Locust

It is with great sorrow that we inform you of the passing of Eloise Locust. Eloise was the manager for the Cherokee Nation Child Care Licensing Program for about 28 years. She retired about a year and half ago.

Lisa Turtle, a colleague and former NARA Board Member reminds us that she also served as a NARA Board member for two (2) terms from 1999 - 2004.

View the Tribute Video from NARA's Annual Licensing Seminar here

Call for Board Nominations

NARA is accepting nominations for the Board of Directors.

You may nominate yourself or another NARA member in good standing to serve in one (1) of the five (5) eligible Board positions. 

For additional information CLICK HERE

To nominate someone CLICK HERE

Passing of Dr. Edna Runnels Ranck

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Edna Runnels Ranck.

Edna was a long-time member of the National Association for Regulatory Administration (NARA). She served five two-year terms as an At-Large Member of the NARA National Council from 2001-2006. Additional information about Edna can be located online here.



Remote Inspections in Child Care Settings: A Viable Alternative During Emergency Situations

July 10, 2020

NARA has recently released a paper regarding the use of remote inspections in child care settings.

The purpose of this paper is to discuss, share, and demonstrate the use of Remote Inspections as a means to validate and verify compliance with licensing regulations when it is unsafe or impractical to complete onsite inspections. 

Onsite inspections, where the licensing staff measure compliance with licensing regulations while physically present at the licensed location, are the primary means to identify, remediate, and prevent recurrence of noncompliant conditions that could result in harm to children in care. However, conducting onsite inspections may not always be possible due to severely inclement weather, natural disasters, communicable disease pandemics, or similar unforeseeable circumstances that impede travel or in-person contact. Conducting onsite inspections during such conditions puts children, licensees, and licensing staff at risk of injury, illness, or death. Licensing oversight agencies must therefore identify and adopt alternatives to onsite inspections in child care programs1 to ensure that the regulatory agency can meet its obligations to protect children’s health and safety when onsite inspections cannot be safely conducted. 

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, several states have determined that it is in the best interest of the people supported in licensed settings to measure regulatory compliance via Remote Inspections2 in lieu of or in addition to onsite inspections.

You can access the full paper here.


National Model Foster Family Home Licensing Standards
February 13, 2019

The final National Model is very similar to the proposed National Model, which was released for public comment on August 1, 2018.  The modifications to the final include:

  • Allowing family friends and teen household members to drive the foster child, not just adults in the home, as is consistent with reasonable and prudent parent standards. 
  • Clarifying that foster parents can meet communication standards through communication aids and non-verbal means. 
  • Adding immunization requirements for caregivers, provided those immunizations are not contrary to the health of the caregiver. 
  • Explaining a few additional points raised in the public comment process, which can be found in the endnotes to the final National Model.

The Children’s Bureau used the National Association for Regulatory Administration (NARA) Model Family Foster Home Licensing Standards (NARA Model) as the “main source” for its proposed National Model, and then accorded it “considerable deference” in deciding whether to modify the proposed National Model.  You'll recall that Generations United and the ABA Center on Children and the Law, with support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, were multiyear partners in researching all 50 states' licensing standards and then working with NARA to develop that Model.

While the National Model does not incorporate all of the NARA standards, nothing in the National Model contradicts the NARA Model. Consequently, as part of the process required by Family First, states and tribes can also consult the NARA Model and its tools. There are certain NARA definitions, principles, and standards that provide important additional guidance.  

The First First Act, along with guidance from the Children's Bureau, requires Title IV-E agencies to submit a Title IV-E plan amendment to the Children's Bureau (attachment X, of the pre-print) by March 31, 2019, and provide the following “specific and detailed” information:

  • Are the agency’s foster family home licensing standards consistent with the National Model?  If not, why not?
  • Does the agency waive non-safety licensing standards for relative foster family homes, as allowed by federal law?  If not, why not?
  • Which standards are most commonly waived?
  • How are caseworkers trained to use the waiver authority?
  • Is there a process or tools to assist caseworkers in waiving non-safety standards so they can place quickly with relatives?
  • What steps are being taken to improve caseworker training or the process? 

A FAQ on the National Model, the NARA Model on which it "relied heavily", and the Family First reporting requirements is attached and available at  

crosswalk for states to use to compare their standards with both Models is also available. You can access it here, or at

If you have questions or need assistance with comparing your state's standards with the Model Standards, please contact  Jim Murphy, Executive Director, NARA at [email protected]  or Ana Beltran , JD at Generations United at [email protected].

One More Week to Weigh in on National Foster Home Licensing Standards
Friday, September 28, 2018

The Chronicle of Social Change reminds the public that it has until October 1 to weigh in on a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposal for a first-ever national standard on licensing foster homes.

Comment Considerations for Proposed Model Family Foster Care Licensing Standards
Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Please review the following considerations for Federal Register Comments on proposed Model National Family Foster Home Licensing Standards as called for in the Family First Prevention Services Act, as developed jointly by National Association for Regulatory Administration (NARA), Generations United & American Bar Association (ABA) Center on Children and the Law.

Click to view resource
The comment period will close on Monday, October 1.

 Webinar Series
Tuesday, July 10

NARA's August webinar will look at the collaborative partnership between the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and the Wisconsin Department of Health Service and how their partnership made effective changes to the training infrastructure by bringing the highest quality of training to individuals enhancing their level of care to the people they serve.

On April 1, 2009, Wisconsin’s Administrative Code (Chapter DHS 83) for Community-Based Residential Facilities, was revised. Among the changes were required trainings for both instructors and students of the four department-approved training topics (standard precautions, first aid and choking, fire safety, and medication administration).

The requirements created standardized curriculum, an approval process for instructors, and a registry to track completion of the classes. In addition, an administrator course and train-the-trainer courses were developed. The registry serves as the sole verification for assisted living professionals who have successfully completed state required courses in accordance with the Wisconsin Administrative Code DHS 83.

 In 2016 the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay was awarded a five-year contract from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) to maintain the Community Based Residential Facilities (CBRF) Training Registry for the State of Wisconsin.The CBRF Training Registry manages the publicly accessible online database of over 133,000 CBRF employees, instructors and administrators who have completed department approved training(s).  In this partnership with DHS, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has assumed responsibility for developing program curriculum and policies, approving instructors and monitoring training quality and consistency. 

For more information and to register click here.

Promising Practices Announcement
June 6, 2018

The National Association for Regulatory Administration (NARA) is proud to introduce its Promising Practice to highlight promising practices in the areas of adult care/assisted living, child care, and child welfare regulatory industries. By sharing a promising practice, NARA members/organizations will be a part of the solution to move the regulatory industry forward. NARA is seeking submissions in the following  categories:

  • Collaboration;
  • Cultural Competence;
  • Internal Employee Education;
  • Regulatory System Development or Revision; and
  • Technology

NARA members /organizations can submit a promising practices form for review. The Promising Practices Committee will evaluate submissions and will announce selected practices at the 2018 Annual Licensing Seminar. Selected practices will also be featured on the Promising Practices webpage and in the NARA newslink.

To be considered for the 2018 Licensing Seminar, submissions must be received by July 31, 2018.The NARA Promising Practices Committee will then evaluate each submission and make a recommendation to the NARA Executive Board for approval.

We encourage you to submit Promising Practices to share your programs, interventions, strategies, and policies with demonstrated success in the regulatory industry.

To submit a promising practice please use this link.


June 5: 
NARA announces the Promising Practices Program

July 31: Deadline for submissions

September 24-26: Announcement of selected practices at Annual NARA Licensing Seminar

Contact NARA at [email protected] for questions.

Annual Licensing Seminar
May 11, 2018

With NARA's 26th annual Licensing Seminar just a few months away, we realize that many of our attendees have registration restrictions based on budgetary fiscal year with which they must comply. In an effort of "play fair" we realize our early bird rate for registration ends prior to the fiscal year for when the Seminar occurs. With this in mind, we are extending our early bird rates for the 2018 Seminar through midnight ET on Sunday, July 29th.

We are excited with how this year is shaping up, with an incredible level of interest for workshop proposals, our keynote speakers, and an exciting venue in Williamsburg, VA. Please visit our Seminar webpage for additional information, and to register to attend.

We look forward to seeing you in September!


 Webinar Series
Friday, May 11, 2018

Jeremy Lewis will be speaking about how Florida's Department of Children and Families' (DCF) Child Care Regulation Program Office addressed CCDBG requirements in NARA’s June 14 webinar. The Handshake: Unifying Information Systems Through Communication and Collaboration will show how the partnership between Florida's Office of Early Learning (OEL) and DCF allowed the sharing of information between the two offices and their information systems. These efforts resulted in a statewide training registry and the ability for licensing staff to inspect Florida’s School Readiness providers and communicate the findings with Florida’s Early Learning Coalitions.

Jeremy is a graduate of Florida State University with a degree in professional communication. In 2009, Jeremy joined the Florida Department of Children and Families as a business analyst for the information systems team. He now leads that team, which consists of three business analysts and seven software engineers. Throughout his nearly seven years of experience, Jeremy has navigated the decommissioning of a 13-year-old legacy system, the recruitment of a new internal software development team and the construction of a brand-new licensing system.


For more information and to register click here.


 Webinar Series
Monday, April 30, 2018

Join NARA on Thursday, May 10 for a webinar about Risk and Child Care featuring Jacqueline Wood who has served as a NARA Board member and training consultant. Jackie has degrees in Education and Child Development and has worked on both state and national levels to provide and improve learning opportunities for licensing staff and early childhood professionals.

When Safe Can Become Too Safe. The Need for Risk. For decades, licensing has worked diligently to protect children from risks and has done a very good job.  But have we gone too far?  Studies show that exposing children to risks and allowing risk taking is critical to healthy development in key areas. This webinar will discuss risk taking, its importance and why and how licensing in this country can and should encourage safe risks. Other countries who allow risks will also be discussed.

Webinar Series
Friday, March 2, 2018

Our March webinar presented by Mr. Ron Melusky is about Key Indicators in Adult Care Settings. Mr. Melusky is the Director of the Division of Program Operations in the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, Office of Developmental Programs. His division oversees statewide implementation of licensing activities in day and residential programs for adults with intellectual disabilities and autism.

Key Indicator Systems identify a statistically-validated subset of regulations that indicate compliance with the entire set of regulations, allowing licensing oversight agencies the ability to conduct abbreviated inspections while still ensuring that safe, high-quality care is provided in all settings.Although agencies nationwide are moving towards Key Indicator Systems as an effective alternative to traditional licensing methods, nearly all Key Indicator Systems are developed for child care programs, and are vastly underutilized in adult-care licensing.

This webinar will present an overview of how Key Indicator Systems work, discuss why such systems are not more prevalent in adult-care licensing programs, and explore the benefits of Key Indicator Systems to persons in care, adult-care providers, the licensing agency, and the public.

For More information and to register click here.

 Webinar Series
Thursday February 1, 2018

We have all heard about the opioid crisis, come learn what the state of Ohio is doing about opioids and its child welfare system in NARA’s latest webinar. This webinar Working Toward Reunification During the Opioid Crisis featuring Mary Wachtel, Director of Public Policy, The Public Children Services Association of Ohio and Fawn Gadel, Director of OhioSTART will examine the impact of opioids on child welfare in Ohio. The opioid epidemic is straining Ohio’s child welfare system, causing more children to enter foster care, stay in foster care longer, and placement costs to rise.  Mary and Fawn will explain agency requirements to provide reasonable efforts for preventing removal of children from their homes and for reunification, and highlight the OhioSTART program—a pilot project operating in 14 southern Ohio counties focusing on families with both substance use and child abuse/neglect concerns.   

For more information and to register click here.

Webinar Series
Monday January 22, 2018

NARA’s popular webinar series is back for 2018. On Thursday, January 25 NARA will be featuring Dr. Rick Fiene and the Theory of Regulatory Compliance. Dr. Fiene has spent 40+ years in developing and improving key indicator, risk assessment and differential monitoring methodologies. In 2013 after a long career in Pennsylvania State Government as a research psychologist and at Pennsylvania State University as a professor of psychology, he created the Research Institute for Key Indicators (RIKI) to consolidate all research on differential monitoring

The theory of regulatory compliance is the basis for risk assessment, key indicators and differential monitoring. Without this theory, these methodologies could not be used within human service licensing. This webinar will discuss the essence of the theory and its implications beyond human service licensing to econometrics.

For more information and to register click here.

Message From Leadership
Tuesday January 3, 2018

Welcome 2018! Hopefully, everyone had a safe and wonderful holiday season and this newsletter finds everyone keeping warm as the very cold weather is sweeping across North America. This time of year many of us are making resolutions for the upcoming year, both personal and professional. Please let us know how NARA can help support you in achieving your professional goals.

The NARA Board welcomes Alfred Johnson as our newly elected President-Elect (2018-2020), Terry Jarvis as our incoming Treasurer (2018), and our new At-Large Board Members (2018-2020) Jim Hart and Michelle Thomas. We look forward to working with these new members of our board of directors team. The Board will be meeting at the end of January in Williamsburg, VA for our annual mid-year meeting to kick off the year.

The NARA Board worked this past Fall on developing a revised mission statement that was sent to the membership first for a comment and feedback period, and then for a vote. We are happy to announce that the results are in and the membership overwhelmingly approved the proposed change. Many thanks to the Board members and membership who participated in this process. The new NARA mission is to:

"Promote the health and safety of children and adults in regulated settings."

We are also transitioning to our 2018 committees. We had an incredible response and level of interest expressed to participate this year, and look forward to great things being accomplished throughout the year. Many thanks to those that completed the committee interest survey.

January 28 is Fun at Work Day, make sure to take the time to create fun moments for you and your co-workers.

As always, thank you for your continued support of NARA. We look forward to working with you, and on your behalf in 2018. Stay warm!!

Tara Orlowski, President                                        Jim Murphy, Executive Director

2017 NARA Annual Business Meeting Announcement

August 10, 2017

Hello NARA Members,

Our excitement here at NARA has been growing as we get closer to our Silver Seminar in Minneapolis, only 32 days away.

2017 has been an exciting year for NARA in many ways, and we cannot wait to see you all on September 11th. Part of this time together at Seminar includes our Annual Business Meeting. This meeting will take place during lunch on Tuesday, September 12th at 11:45 am central time.

During this time you will hear about the state of NARA, our financial position, and committee updates. You will hear from the Board President and Executive Director.

In addition, we have set aside additional time to allow for more in-depth presentation and discussion about NARA’s work, goals for the remainder of 2017 and 2018, as well as a panel of committee chairs who will engage in a Q&A with interested members. This additional session will take place Tuesday evening after the last breakout session at 4:45 pm central time in a location to be announced.

Please plan your schedules to be in attendance at both sessions. We look forward to your participation in helping us move NARA forward and assist us in representing the regulatory field and licensing professionals in the best possible ways.


Tara L. Orlowski, M.Ed.                                              Jim Murphy

Board President                                                         Executive Director

NARA Dues Increase Effective July 1, 2017

June 28, 2017

Dear NARA Members:

We are excited about the changes and improvements occurring with NARA and look forward to seeing you all at our Silver anniversary celebration of NARA’s 25th Licensing Seminar in Minneapolis, MN September 10th – 12th.  Do not forget that members receive a $150 discount on Seminar Registration.

The National Regulatory Professional Credential continues to gain momentum and is now re-credentialing our first regulators who earned the credential five (5) years ago.

As an association dedicated to supporting regulatory professionals throughout North America who ensure the health and safety of individuals in out-of-home care, NARA must periodically review its strategic plan and operating costs. This activity is typical of non-profit associations. With your membership, NARA continues to enhance your professional effectiveness through the provision of our numerous initiatives, such as:

  • Strengthening NARA’s organizational infrastructure
  • Providing professional development resources and opportunities for regulators
  • Advancing NARA’s Key Indicator System work in states and provinces
  • Engaging our members, including through involvement on our numerous committees

As a result of this review, the NARA Membership Committee recommended and the NARA Board of Directors approved a membership fee increase in an effort to support the activities listed above. NARA has not raised membership fees for the past six (6) years and has carried the increased cost of doing business for as long as possible in an effort to benefit our members. The new membership fee structure aligns with the recent bylaw changes to our membership categories: Individual and Organizational. The following membership levels are no longer available:

  • Associate memberships
  • Agency memberships (replaced by Organizational memberships)
  • Corporate memberships
  • Supporting Partner memberships

Based on the Membership Committee recommendations, the Board approved instituting a $10 increase in individual member annual dues. Individual membership options will now include:

  • Individual memberships - $95.00 / year
  • Retiree and Student memberships - $50.00 / year

In addition, the Agency memberships have been restructured into a tiered Organizational membership system that includes the following levels:

  • Level 1: An organization may name up to 20 individuals - $1,500.00
  • Level 2: An organization may name up to 27 individuals - $2,000.00
  • Level 3: An organization may name up to 35 individuals - $2,500.00
  • Level 4: An organization may name up to 45 individuals - $3,000.00
  • Level 5: An organization may name more than 45 individuals - $3,000.00 plus $65.00 / additional person

All members listed under these new membership categories (Individual, Retiree, Student, and all individuals named under the Organizational memberships) will have full individual membership benefits, including individual voting rights.

The new rates and membership categories are effective July 1, 2017. Existing memberships will continue with current benefits until their expiration, at which time renewal will be based on the fees in place at the time of renewal.

On behalf of the NARA Board of Directors, our committees, and staff, we thank you for your membership and your continued support!


Tara Orlowski, Board President                                    Jim Murphy, Executive Director


 NARA Town Hall Recording

February 17, 2017

Thank you to those who submitted questions and participated in our Town Hall on Monday, February 13. In this recording NARA President, Tara Orlowski, and Executive Director, Jim Murphy, respond to members' most pressing questions about NARA. 

Please sign in as a member to access the recording: Town Hall Recording

If you have any questions, please contact us.

 NARA Appoints New President-Elect and At-Large Board Member

February 17, 2017

It continues to be exciting times for NARA. This past weekend, the Board of Directors met in Minneapolis, MN - the home of our new association management company.  The Board had a very productive weekend and look forward to moving several strategic initiatives forward in this coming year. Part of the discussions from this weekend revolved around filling the President Elect vacancy that occurred when Jim Murphy was hired to fill the Executive Director position for NARA.

The President Elect position is a short-term position that ends December 31, 2017, which is essentially a 10-month position. The position of President Elect will be open in the Fall 2017 election and whomever the membership elects into the position, will assume the President Elect position from January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2020. This person will also automatically become President of the Association on January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2023. Because of the short duration of the position, the Board felt it was in the best interest of NARA to have a current board member fill the vacancy because of their participation on the Board and having an understanding of the current issues and initiatives we are focused on at this time. After much discussion and consideration, Steven Eng was approved by the Board to be appointed into the position of President Elect.
This change left an At-Large position vacant until December 2017, which the Board spent additional time discussing. The Board approved Mike Boland to be appointed to fill this 10-month vacancy. His historical knowledge of the Board and commitment to membership initiatives will be beneficial as NARA continues to transition to a new association management company and a new executive director, while at the same time moves many membership initiatives forward.
We appreciate both Steven and Mike who have stepped up to fill these vacancies for the remainder of the year.
Tara Lynne Orlowski, M.Ed.
National Association for Regulatory Administration
NARA Honors Gwen Morgan at 2015 Seminar

View Tribute

View Gwen Morgan Interview