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Foster Care

Families come in all shapes and sizes. From traditional two parent households to single parent households to homes that have two parents of the same gender. No two families are exactly the same. But underneath their surface differences, one thing all families share is the love for one another.

Foster children are not looking for perfect parents; they are looking for adults who are willing to accept them, love them, and care for them. They are looking for someone to hold their hand and help them walk through the door to adulthood. They are looking for someone to come home to during the holidays and breaks from college. They are looking for someone like you.

Will you be a child’s someone?

Use the links below to learn more about how you can Get Involved.
Become a Resource Family
Other Ways to Help

Faces of Foster Families

Reasons why children enter Foster Care

Parenting is a tough job under the best of circumstances. When a parent is no longer able to care for the needs of their child, or when their actions threaten the health or safety of their child, the Department of Social Services can become involved. Our efforts are focused first on maintaining children in their home if at all possible, but sometimes we have to look for someone to care for the child outside of the home while the parents take time to address the safety concerns that prevent the child from remaining safely at home.

When children are removed from the home, the primary goal of Child Welfare Services is to reunify children with their family as quickly as possible. On average, 68% of children who are taken into Foster Care are reunified with their families within 12 months. Child Welfare Services is committed to providing birth families with the resources, training and support they need to make the changes required in order to reunify with their children. The length of time a family can work toward reunification varies depending on the age of the child, specific family circumstances, and any previous involvement with Child Welfare Services.

Each family will work with their assigned Social Worker to develop a Reunification Plan that outlines:
  • Expectations of the family
  • Types of services that will be provided
  • Length of time those services will be provided
If children are not able to remain safely in their home, they will be placed with a Resource Family.

Resource Families are families that have been approved by our Department to care for foster children. Resource Families are required to complete a criminal history clearance, training hours, health screenings, and assessments. The Department first looks to see if there is a relative or other close adult with whom the child can live. We can place children with relatives or other close adults on an emergency basis while the family completes the Resource Family application process. If a relative or other close adult cannot be found, the children will be placed with a family who has already completed the approval process to become a Resource Family. Preferably, these homes are within the community in which the child currently lives in order to maintain school enrollment, friendships, and community ties.

There is room for everyone! Every family is unique and each home is a valued resource for the youth in our community. Some are traditional families with a working father and a mother that stays at home. Some families have two working parents with adequate child care. Others are single parents and some are in committed domestic partnerships, while others are older parents with plenty of energy! While Resource Families are a diverse group, they share a commitment to meet the needs of children during a difficult time and strive to nurture the children in their care.

Types of Foster Care

The term “Foster Care” is a broad term used to describe care provided for children who have been removed from their home by Court order. While it is correct to describe all kids who are being supervised by the Department of Social Services as being in “Foster Care”, the needs of all kids are different and therefore there are several different types of care provided:

Relative Care Provider: Relative Care parents are primarily interested in providing care for relative youth during reunification efforts with families.  Placement on an emergency basis with relatives may be approved, but it is the expectation of the Department that relatives will participate in the Resource Family Approval process. This is the preferred placement type for children in Foster Care.

Resource Family: Resource Family is the term used to describe all families who have been approved to care for foster children by the Department of Social Services. Resource Families may be related to the child, be another close adult, or have no previous relationship to the child. Resource Families work closely with both the Department and the birth parents to support the child and to work toward reunification of the child with his/her family when this can be accomplished safely and appropriately.  Resource Families may also be interested in adoption, or they may only be interested in fostering.

Respite Care: Sometimes Resource Families need someone to care for the foster children placed with them. Respite families are approved through the Department, and take care of foster children on a short term basis (usually 1-3 days) while the children’s primary Resource Family is unavailable.

Options for Recovery: Options for Recovery (OFR) parents are interested in providing intensive reunification support and care for infants 0-5 who are medically fragile.  If reunification is not successful, these parents help transition the child into an adoptive family and are NOT a resource for adoption.

Intensive Treatment Foster Care (ITFC): ITFC homes receive specialized training to work with children who are severely emotionally disturbed and who are at risk of being placed in a group home. ITFC homes are certified through a partner agency and receive intensive training and support.

Group Homes: On rare occasions, a child’s behavior or medical needs can be so great that a Resource Family cannot be located who is able to provide adequate care.  Group Homes are facilities who are licensed through the state of California to provide the highest level of care short of psychiatric hospitalization.  This option is the least desirable and the Department makes every effort to avoid placing children into group homes, and to return them to a lesser level of care as quickly as possible if group home care is needed.

Adoptive Care: Adoptive care homes are families who are primarily interested in adopting the child placed in their care. It is important to note that most adoptive families will foster one or more children who are successfully reunified with their birth parents before they are able to finalize the adoption of a child.
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Phone: (805) 781-1700 | Contact Us
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