The Resource Family Approval (RFA) program was developed to help meet California’s goal of ensuring that all children live in committed, nurturing and permanent families. Specifically, RFA establishes a new family-friendly and child-centered approval process for all related and non-related families seeking to care for children and youth in foster care.  Because this new process consolidates and replaces existing requirements (foster parent licensing and certification, relative approval, adoption, and guardianship approvals) no additional home approvals are necessary should a family wish to pursue adoption or guardianship of a child in foster care (updates to the approval will occur at least annually and may be necessary if there are changes in the household or personal life events). Under the program, which is state wide beginning January 2017, all caregivers of children and youth in foster care are approved to be “resource families.” Once approved, a Resource Family is able to be an emergency, temporary and/or permanent family for a child.



The County of San Luis Obispo was one of five early-implementation counties (with more counties implementing in 2016) that began testing the program so other counties could learn from and strengthen the process prior to statewide implementation in January 2017.

What has changed?

RFA requires enhanced assessments of caregiver and training for all resource families, including those related to the child.  This training is to better prepare families to care for children who have experienced the kinds of trauma that leads to children entering foster care.

The enhanced assessment determines the caregiver’s ability to meet developmental, safety, permanence, and well-being needs of children, the capacity to act as a prudent parent in providing normal childhood experiences, the ability to cooperate with agency and service providers, the ability to provide and maintain financial stability, the ability to maintain the least restrictive and most family-like environment and an assessment of the caregivers support system.

The goal is that better prepared families will lead to fewer placement changes for children enabling children to have stable, nurturing relationships with caregivers and to focus on school and other childhood activities.


  • RFA is a streamlined process that includes one application, one background check and a combined home environment and psychosocial assessment. This will eliminate redundant paperwork for families and maximize the efficient use of staff and system resources.
  • The improved approval standards will be consistent regardless of a child’s case plan. This allows for a seamless transition to permanency through adoption or guardianship when a child is unable to return to his or her parents.
  • Increased stability in foster care will assist you with developing supportive lifelong relationships and improved outcomes for children, youth and young adults.

Want to learn more?

Have you been thinking about being a Resource Parent?  Wondered what it takes?  Have you ever wondered who can be a resource parent?  Resource parents are self-supporting adults who are working, retired or stay-at-home. They are singles or couples who own or rent their homes with a spare room or bed.

You can request information by calling (805) 781-1705 for a personal orientation, information packet and to register for training classes.

What happens next?

You will be enrolled in Resource Family Trainings (RFT, formerly known as PRIDE) and you will need to complete all training sessions to be approved as a resource family home.  See our Calendar for the RFT class schedule.

You will then be assigned a Licensing Social Worker, who will contact you and walk you through the mandatory paperwork, assessments and other requirements.  These other requirements include:

Live Scan Fingerprinting
Personal References
Copies of Vital Statistics (birth/marriage/death certificates and divorce documents)
DMV driving record history
CPR and First Aid certification
TB test for adults

What is this Resource?

A Mentor Program for seasoned Resource Families and new Resource Families to connect with one another.  The goal of the mentor program is to support our newer resource families through having experienced resource families share their experiences, resources, knowledge, and a listening ear to the new resource families. Additionally, we have Mentor mixers that allow a time for multiple resource families – both new and experienced – to get together and talk about the joys and challenges of being a resource family.

Who can use this Resource?

If you are a seasoned Resource Family or new Resource Families and would like to connect with one another, please call (805) 781-1705  or click on Contact Us and send us a message.

What is this Resource?

We offer in-home supportive services to families who are experience challenging behaviors or have specific parenting questions or situations. This involves therapists working one on one with a child and family, in the home. We utilize multiple agencies throughout the county to help meet the needs of our resource parents.

Who can use this Resource?

If you are interested in these services, ask your Social Worker or the Foster Support Unit for a referral.

What is this Resource?

The Department provides different trainings that are geared toward specific audiences and the needs of our Resource families, Adoptive families and Community partners. Please take a look at our Calendar to view all upcoming trainings and events.

Who can use this Resource?

If you are a Resource Family, Adoptive Family or Community partner and would like to register for a training/event, please call the phone number shown at the top of this website or click on Contact Us and send us your question.

What is this Resource?

Faith in Motion (FIM) is a collaborative effort between San Luis Obispo Department of Social Services, SLO faith based communities, area Foster Family Agencies, and the Cuesta College FKCE program.  This program is designed to positively impact children who have come into the states care due to neglect, abuse, or abandonment.

The purpose of Faith in Motion is to surround our children and their caregivers, in big and small ways, to increase placement stability and prevent additional trauma to children through multiple placement moves.

Who can use this Resource?

FIM recruits Resource/Adoptive families from local faith based communities while encouraging the community to develop support services for our families. FIM offers resources and supports to Faith based communities wanting to develop a support system for those in their congregation providing foster care. FIM educates faith based communities on the need for Resource/adoptive homes as well as respite homes. FIM offers trainings to our families, as well as Faith based communities, so they can better serve and support those in their congregations that are fostering/adopting.

The Recruitment Unit wants to develop relationships with local faith based communities for ongoing recruitment of Resource Families by educating the leadership on the need for resource families and to tell what FIM can offer them.  We then want to give examples of ways each community can be involved in supporting our families.  This could be through becoming a Resource Family themselves, providing help in practical ways (preparing meals, babysitting, making repairs to a home for licensing preparation, etc.) or offering support by other opportunities (hosting a date night, offering a meeting space for trainings or support groups, etc.)

Our ultimate goals include:

  • Giving a brief presentation to the congregation on the need for resource families
  • Providing a bulletin insert in church bulletins
  • Displaying flyers at the faith based community
  • Hosting a table after services where DSS would hand out brochures and be available to answer questions

For more information on how YOU can get involved, please click Contact Us at the top row of this website and send us your questions.

What is this Resource?

We offer reimbursement for short term Respite Care to our Resource Parents. Short term Respite Care is the use of babysitters (other than Resource Parents) and cannot exceed 24 hours at one time or 48 hours in one month.

Who can use this Resource?

Any Resource Parent that is in need of a break that may need to run errands, have a night out or attend a meeting or event.

In order to receive reimbursement, the Resource Family must submit a County Payment Request and a Respite Receipt which are attached below.

Click a button below to download either the County Payment Request form or the Respite Care Receipt form.

County Payment Request Form
Respite Care Receipt Form

What is this Resource?

Quality Parenting Initiative (QPI) serves as an umbrella for many of the programs and services we offer in our county.  QPI is a movement that was started in Florida, picked up by California, and is now spreading to states across the nation. San Luis Obispo was one of the first counties to pilot this program in the state.

The goal of California’s QPI is to strengthen foster care by focusing on excellent parenting for all children in the child welfare system. We believe that by offering the best possible services to our Resource Parents, we will attract and retain the highest caliber of resource parents in our state.

We have collaborative meetings monthly to identify areas that are working well, areas needing continued focus, determining priorities and next steps toward strengthening our program to best serve children and families.

Other Resources

Who can use this Resource?

If you are interested in becoming involved in our QPI collaborative which meets monthly, please contact us at (805) 781-1705 or visit our QPI State website QPI California.

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Who can use this Resource?

If you are a Resource Parent and need supportive services, please click the button below or use the Contact Us link at the top row of this website and send us your questions.

Click button below to navigate to our Support page.

Foster Care Unit Support

What is this Resource?

When children and youth are brought under the care of the  Juvenile Court, they are provided with resources and financial assistance as they transition into adulthood.

Who can use this Resource?

For more information on resources and financial assistance available to children and youth, or resources and assistance that are available to resource families, relative families, or non-related family homes please call (805) 781-1705  or click on Contact Us and send us a message.

What is this Resource?

The Foster Family Friendly Business program is a discount program designed to give Resource Families a percentage off goods and services at local businesses to help ease their financial burden. We provide our resource and adoptive families with a discount card that they show to the participating businesses.

Click button below to download either the Foster Family Friendly participating businesses.

Foster Family Friendly Businesses