Overview of the Foster Care Application Process

In compliance with California state regulations, all prospective foster parents must complete our Foster Parent application, training and certification process to become certified Foster Parents. Families For Children prides itself in the knowledge, promptness, professionalism and communication of our staff. The following is what you may expect should you pursue foster care with us:

Individual Orientations:
Rather than the usual group orientation meetings, Families For Children offers one-on-one informational orientations with one of our experienced Social Workers for those inquiring about foster care. We feel that the individual orientation allows a greater level of comfort for prospective foster parents to discuss their personal questions about foster care.

We will discuss the application process, home study, and explain how we work with you as a team through the certification process and provide an understanding of the children we serve. These meetings are truly focused on your questions and our goal is to provide you with the information necessary for you to make an informed decision about being a foster parent.

These meetings are held at your convenience during normal business hours. Please Contact Us for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Fingerprint and Child Abuse Index Clearances:

After your initial interview with us, this is the first step in the certification process. Criminal clearances are required for all members of your household who are 18 years and over. The State of California now utilizes the Live Scan process to complete these requirements. We recommend calling several locations as the fee for this service varies, please contact us for details. Live Scan includes DOJ, FBI and Child Abuse Index clearances and is reimburseable at the time of certification.

Foster Parent Application:

We will gladly answer any questions you may have and help you with your application pack, which includes:

All foster families are required to complete two 6-hour pre-certification training sessions. Our trainings are held on Saturdays to fit around work schedules. The format includes lecture presentations, films, group work and self-evaluating home work. The training is conducted by our Master's level Social Workers. There are no fees for the training. More information on the content of our training may be obtained Here.

Home Safety Check:
The home safety check is the first step in the home study process. An agency Social Worker will visit and review a list of State required safety items and precautions with you. All requirements do not have to be fulfilled on the first visit, however they must be completed prior to certification of your home. You may View the Home Safety Check in Adobe PDF format.

Home Study:
This is the final part of the certification process. A Social Worker will review questionnaires you filled out from the application packet and conduct an interview. The Home Study document will be written by your Social Worker after interviews are complete.

The Home Study will describe your family dynamics and communication style; openness to change, family stability; family history; exploration of marriage and/or relationship history; lifestyle; expectations of children's needs and development, motivation in undertaking parenting; former parenting experience and understanding of the commitment and meaning of the foster care process.

Application Timeline:
If you are prompt in submitting the required documentation required in the application, completion of the application process, including the Home Study and training, takes an average of 2 - 3 months.

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