"With more than 55,000 children currently in foster care in California, there is great need for families who can be resources for these kids. Our program works to find families who can provide care for as long as the children may need it. Because multiple moves can create additional trauma, the hope is that a child's first foster family can be that child's only foster family, and eventually lead to adoption if appropriate."

 -Chandra Allen, Placement Program Director

So, what does it take to become a foster family? The first step is the Resource Family Approval (RFA) process.

The RFA program is a statewide foster caregiver approval process for all caregivers (related and non-related). The RFA program has a single approval standard that replaces the previous multiple processes for licensing foster family homes, approving relatives and non-relative extended family members (NREFMs) as foster care providers and approving families for legal guardianship or adoption.

RFA creates a framework for all families, including relative and NREFM caregivers, called "resource families" to receive the same information, training and opportunities for support. A resource family completes one approval process, and once approved, may choose to provide care on a short- or long-term basis. Once caregivers are approved resource families, they will not have to undergo any additional approval or licensure if they choose to adopt or be appointed a guardian for a child in foster care. Approval of a resource family, however, does not guarantee placement of a child with that resource family. The child's social worker will continue to make placement decisions based on what is in the best interest of the child. There are a number of requirements you must meet to become a resource family. The RFA assessment includes:

  • Background check and criminal record exemption
  • Home environment assessment
  • Family evaluation

To learn about becoming a Kinship Center resource family (also known as foster family), contact Barbara May: (831) 455-4740 barbara_may@senecacenter.org

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