There are thousands of children in California's foster care system who require temporary out-of-home care because of neglect, abuse, or exploitation. The preferred placement of children who require out-of-home care is with relatives. If a home with relatives is not a possibility, foster parents, relative caregivers and other caretakers provide a supportive and stable environment for children who cannot live with their birth parents until family problems are resolved. In most cases, the foster parents and care providers work with social services staff to reunite the child with birth parents. Foster parents often provide care to many different children.
A license is required to operate a foster home. The process requires a licensing worker to visit your home and meet with you and other family members. Minimum personal, safety, and space requirements are required by law. Foster parents work with social services staff to decide the type of child best suited for their home.
Children who require out-of-home care generally come under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court. The juvenile dependency process involves a series of hearings and case reviews which may result in foster care placement, including placement with relatives.
To become a foster parent, the applicant(s) must complete an Informational Meeting and the Resource Family Orientation. Attend Pre-Approval training to learn how to meet the needs of children in care and how to best work with the child’s family. Applicant(s) must be certified in CPR and First aid by completing in classroom-hands on training.