Foster Care Program

Foster Care Program

Many children in El Dorado County currently need foster care. The El Dorado County Child Welfare Program arranges for the temporary care of foster children through Resource Families.

What is a Resource Family?

A Resource Family is any individual, couple or family who wants to provide care to a related or unrelated child (or children) who is under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, or otherwise in the care of a county welfare agency or probation department. Resource Families play a critical role in the lives of these children, providing a feeling of safety, permanence and well-being.

Resource Families work together with the County and the child’s family to successfully return the child to their parents. In situations where the Court and County determine that a return home is not in the child’s best interest, Resource Families may become the permanent home through adoption or guardianship.

The term Resource Family is now used to describe all types of caregivers, rather than the various terms: Foster Parent, Adoptive Parent, Relative, or Non-Related Extended Family Member.

Resource Family Approval (RFA)

RFA is a new family-friendly and child-centered caregiver approval process that combines elements of the current foster parent licensing, relative approval and permanency assessment, and unifies those processes. The RFA program:

  • Is streamlined: Eliminates duplication of existing processes
  • Unifies approval standards for all caregivers
  • Includes a comprehensive family evaluation, home environment check and training for all families, including relatives
  • Prepares families to better meet the needs of vulnerable children in the foster care system
  • Allows a more child-centered transition to permanency

How to Become a Resource Family in El Dorado County

An Agency Approval is required to operate a Resource Family Home in El Dorado County. Contact the El Dorado County RFA Unit at (530) 642-7159 to start the process. RFA parents must complete the following steps:

  1. Complete a Resource Family Application
  2. Attend a pre-approval training series. The training is free and provided in collaboration with the Folsom Lake College Foster Kinship Care Education Program. Classes are held at the Health and Human Services Agency in Placerville or in South Lake Tahoe at Lake Tahoe Community College. Childcare is available as needed. For information about training, please contact Juline Aguilar in Placerville at (530) 642-5659 or Dana McKnight in South Lake Tahoe at (530) 541-4660 x528.
  3. Become First Aid and CPR certified
  4. Complete background checks
  5. Pass a health screening
  6. Pass a home health and safety inspection
  7. Participate in an in-home Family Evaluation and permanency assessment
  8. And other important steps

Who Can be a Resource Family?

Anyone age 21 and over with an open heart and a commitment to the well-being of children and families is welcome to apply. This opportunity is open to people of all ages from diverse family types. Single parents, LGBT couples and those with grown children are all welcome to apply, as are those from all ethnic backgrounds and religious preferences. Background checks will be explored on a confidential case-by-case basis and may or may not preclude approval depending on the severity and nature of any past charges or convictions. Please be open to partnering with the County, participating fully in the family evaluation process and, most importantly, helping better the lives of children and families in need.

Need for Families for All Aged Children and Those with Special Needs

El Dorado County is especially grateful to families who can open their homes to all aged foster children and to those with special needs. Supplemental funding may be available to help offset associated costs and efforts for high needs children. These children include:

  • Junior high and high school aged children (teenagers and non-minor dependents up to age 21)
  • Medically fragile (substance exposed infants, children with special medical challenges such as diabetes, etc.)
  • Children with developmental and intellectual disabilities
  • Children in need of specialty mental health health care
  • Children who have experienced severe trauma and sexual abuse
  • Children in the probation system

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