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For over 30 years, the County of San Luis Obispo has developed collaborative relationships to provide supportive services for children, youth and families in crisis. Our Services are dependent upon our community partnering with us to help meet changing and growing needs.  San Luis Obispo County is currently facing a Resource Parent shortage which is directly impacting our county’s children and youth.

The Department of Social Services Foster Parent Recruitment Retention Support Unit in collaboration with other community partners is asking for assistance in raising awareness to an ever-growing need in our county. The county of San Luis Obispo currently has over 375 children and youth in protective foster care due to neglect, abuse, or abandonment. At any given moment, there are only around 180 active resource families (formerly known as foster families) to provide caring, stable, and loving homes for these children. Our most urgent need currently is finding families who are willing to care for adolescents and teens. This deficit results in multiple possibilities for further trauma such as:

Sibling groups having to be separated
Children being removed from community and school of origin
Children having to be placed in hotels while an available placement is located
Fewer placement options resulting in incompatibility and more placement moves




The Department of Social Services offers a variety of supports for resource parents including:


Monetary support
Respite Care
In-Home Behavioral Support
In-Home Parenting Education
Extra Curricular Activities

It is the joint mission of DSS and its partners to recruit, train, and support more resource families in our county to ensure that we are giving each of our children in care every opportunity to feel that they are not just part of a family that cares for them, but that they are part of a community that cares for them. Together with your help, we can find a home for every child and it starts with making our county aware of the need! For more information on how to help raise awareness, become a resource parent, start as a respite care provider or temporary shelter home, or have general questions answered, please call (805) 781-1700  or click on Contact Us and send us a message.

We thank you for your time and look forward to partnering with you to support our most vulnerable children and families in our community.

The following brochures are listed in our areas of highest need and how you can help us meet them.

Click on any text link below to download the brochure.

If you have any questions or would like to talk to a Social Services Information specialist, please call (805) 781-1700  or click on Contact Us and send us a message.


Thank you for taking the first step to serving our county’s children and youth in care by visiting our website!

Our Resource Family Recruitment team is available to answer questions and provide information & support.

With your help, every child in foster care will be cared for by a safe, stable, and caring family in our community.

Please feel free contact us at:



In Person: 3433 South Higuera Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 (Department of Social Services, main office)

By Mail: Attn: Resource Family Recruitment, PO Box 8119, San Luis Obispo, CA 93403-8119

You will find a list of our six Department of Social Services locations, telephone numbers and office hours here.

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