Foster a Child

There are thousands of children in California's foster care system who require temporary out-of-home care because of neglect, abuse or exploitation. The preferred placement of children who require out-of-home care is with relatives. If a home with relatives is not a possibility, Resource Families provide a supportive and stable environment for children who cannot live with their birth parents until family concerns are resolved. In most cases, the Resource Families work with social services staff to reunify the child with the birth parents. Resource Families often provide care to many different children.

Resource Family Approval (RFA)

Resource Family Approval (RFA) is required to operate a foster home. 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. RFA approves families for legal guardianship or adoption. The process requires an approval worker to visit your home and meet with you and other family members. Minimum personal, safety and space qualifications are required by law. Resource Families work with social services staff to gather the needed documents, engage in trainings needed for approval, and decide the type of child best suited for their home.

Additional Information

Sometimes children may require more intensive structured care. These children may be placed in licensed community care facilities that may be anywhere from six beds to much larger institutions. These Short-Term Residential Therapeutic Programs (STRTPs) offer individualized treatment for children who require a more structured setting.

In addition to children placed in Resource Family homes and STRTPs, Foster Family Agencies (FFAs) provide another placement resource. Agencies are licensed to provide certified RFA homes for children who require more services than are provided in county RFA homes, yet these homes are less structured than STRTPs.  

Nevada County Child Welfare Services (CWS) operates an adoptions department and works closely with Stanford Sierra Youth & Families.  CWS also works closely with Foster Family Agencies (FFAs). E-mail Social Services or call Child Welfare 530-273-4291 for more information on becoming a foster parent.