Become a resource family to foster a child

Ready to get started? Start your online application now.

Why you should become a resource family

LA kids need you

There are thousands of foster children in LA and we have a shortage of resource families for these children.

You’ll be supported

LA provides financial reimbursement as well as medical, mental health and educational support. We’ll be with you every step of the way.

Rewarding

Opening your heart to a foster child can be an amazingly rewarding experience. You can make a difference in a child’s life.

How to become a resource family if you live in LA

  1. Attend an orientation and complete the online application
  2. Complete background checks
  3. Attend Pre-Approval training
  4. Have a social worker visit your home for the Home Environment Assessment to assess your home’s safety
  5. Complete a Psycho-Social Assessment, which determines your readiness to be a resource family
  6. Get approved
Learn more about the process here.

How to become a resource family if you do not live in LA

If you live outside LA and would like to be a resource family for an LA foster child, you’ll need to work with a Foster Family Agency.
See here for agencies that work frequently with LA County.

Testimonials

“It has taught me to be compassionate to children while providing them with a safe and loving environment and has helped me to give a child a second chance in life.”

Barbara

“Caring for children in La County has given me great rewards. Seeing many of the children I cared for go on to lead great productive lives has given me great joy and a wealth of pride.”

Eleanor

FAQs

What is Resource Family Approval (RFA)?

There is ONE standard of approval for relatives and non-relatives, extended family members, foster or adoptive parents to care for a child or young adult in foster care.

What is a resource family?

• Any individual, couple, or family who wants to provide foster care or adoption to a related or unrelated child who is under the care of DCFS.

• A family that has successfully met the RFA requirements.

What are the requirements?

  • Be an LA resident
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Complete an application
  • Attend an orientation and 12 hours of no-cost pre-approval training
  • Complete an additional 8 hours of no-cost post-approval training to have a child or sibling group placed in your home
  • Participate in 8 hours of training annually (in-person or on-line)
  • Complete a criminal record check/Live Scan and DMV check
  • Participate in a home environment check & psycho-social assessment completed by a social worker
  • Complete CPR/First Aid (can be available at no-cost) and a Health and TB Screening

Is there support available?

You are part of our team and we will be there to support you with our new after-hours Warm Line and Respite Care. Your own social worker will work beside you to help with the approval process and to be there to support you and link you to services for as long as you have children in your care. Whether you foster or adopt, the child you care for will receive medical and dental coverage. Further, you will receive monthly financial support until the child is 18 and sometimes longer. If a child has special mental health and/or medical needs, increased foster care and adoption assistance payments are available. Extended Foster Care and Extended Adoption Assistance is available up to age 21, if a young adult who was in foster care or adopted meets very basic qualifications. You can call us at (888) 811-1121 or email us at FosterLAKids@dcfs.lacounty.gov.

What is an adoptive parent?

An Adoptive Parent is someone that provides a permanent safe, stable, and loving home for a child or children when it has been determined that they cannot safely be returned to their birth parents or relatives.

Can I be both a foster parent and an adoptive parent?

Absolutely! As a matter of fact, we are in the greatest need of Resource Parents, that is, parents who are able to provide foster care and help birth parents reunite, but if the children cannot safely return to their family, Resource Parents can provide permanent adoptive homes for the children.

How do I know what type of family I should be?

The process of becoming a Resource Parent (which includes being a Foster and Adoptive Parent) is specifically designed to help you discover what is right for you and your family. Our classes and family assessments are conducted by friendly, experienced social workers that will work with you in determining the types of children you can best parent.

Who can become a resource parent?

Becoming a Resource Parent requires flexibility, a good sense of humor, a willingness to grow and learn, but most of all a commitment to provide a safe, stable, nurturing, and loving home for a child.

  • You can be single, married, divorced, or living with a partner. Further, you can live in an apartment or house and either rent or own.
  • There is no minimum income, as long as you can support yourself and provide a safe and stable home for yourself and a child.
  • You can still work. For working parents, appropriate childcare arrangements need to be made.
  • You can be of any race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or culture.
  • Los Angeles County offers classes throughout the county and a full Family Assessment at no cost to you regardless of whether you chose to foster or adopt.

How many children can I have in my home?

You may have up to 6 children, including your own biological children or other children living in your home at any given time. There may be additional limitations if you are caring for children with high medical needs. More than six children may be approved in order to place siblings together.

What is the cost of getting approved as a resource family to foster a child?

You do not pay for completion of the approval process with Los Angeles County. The process should be free, except potential expense for medical screenings. Your RFA social worker can help you identify low cost or free options for medical screenings that are required for medical clearances.

Ready to get started? Start your online application now.