Our County. Our Kids. is a program of the County of the Santa Barbara County Department of Social Services (SB DSS), Child Welfare Services Division (SB CWS). Our County. Our Kids. is the resource parent and kinship caregiver information, resource and support program at SB CWS.
Resource Family is the term California applies to families who provide out-of-home care for children in foster care. Resource families include individuals, couples and families. They may be related to the child, have a familiar or mentoring relationship with the child, or no previous relationship with the child. This means that anyone desiring to provide out-of-home care for a child who is under the supervision of the Child Welfare Services, must complete the same Resource Family Approval (RFA) process, including relatives and non-relative extended family members of the child. In Santa Barbara County the prospective Resource Parents are supported in the RFA process by Licensing Specialists whom are part of the DSS Licensing Unit,
Children involved with the Juvenile Court and Child Welfare Services (CWS) may enter a Resource Family due to physical or emotional abuse, abandonment, neglect and/or because of an incapacitated caretaker/parent. Resource Families are members of the Child Welfare Team, and work collaboratively with and provide a safe and stable family environment for children who cannot live with their birth parents.
Resource Families play a critical role in the life of children in out of home care. When out-of-home placement is needed to keep the child safe, Child Welfare Services (CWS) makes diligent efforts to identify, evaluate and consider relatives, family friends and those closely tied to the family as the primary placement option. When relatives cannot be a placement option for the child, CWS makes efforts to actively recruit and support Resource Families that are able to support children remain connected with their community and culture. Resource Families work together with CWS staff and the child’s family to successfully return the child to their parents, and in the event a child cannot safely return to their biological family parents, a Resource Family is the first choice to adopt the child. Click here to learn more about becoming a Resource Parent.
Helping our community be safe, supported and self-sufficient.
We envision healthy, socially integrated, safe and financially self-sufficient individuals and families contributing to a thriving community. As we identify individual and family needs; administer state and federal programs to meet those needs; and establish partnerships to ensure collaborative solutions, we move toward this vision.
When it comes to our Resource Families, Our County. Our Kids. supports SB CWS’s commitment to children, youth, young adults and families achieving self sufficiency, by:
Development and support of our Resource Families is provided by the Resource Family Approval Unit (RFA) and Our County. Our Kids., both Our County. Our Kids. and the DSS RFA unit are led by a dedicated team of Child Welfare professionals committed to helping families access supportive services and programming for their households – that is the children in their care and for the families themselves. The RFA unit guides and supports relatives and non-relatives through the different steps of the RFA process which includes a background check, assessment of your home, a preservice training series that addresses topics related to working with the Juvenile Court and CWS as well as working with emotionally distressed children and youth, and a permanency assessment that will help you determine your best role in the Santa Barbara County Resource Family Program. Click here for information on the Resource Family Approval Program. Our County. Our Kids. and CWS also provide information on ongoing training on topics that are pertinent to the your role as a Resource Family.
The capacity to provide quality Resource Family is a primary concern for SB DSS, and are committed to ensuring that Resource Families are able to access the necessary support and information that will allow them to provide our children and youth with a safe and stable home environment, and supporting Resource Families’ capacity to answers to questions and concerns, and navigate the Child Welfare system.
Therefore the leadership at Our County. Our Kids. and the RFA Team is ready to answer your questions and receive your concerns:
Program Manager: Amy Krueger
Resource Family Approval/Licensing Unit Supervisor: Leticia Alvarez
Adoptions Supervisor: Julie Mann
Resource Family Recruitment, Training and Support Coordinator: Gustavo Prado
Our County. Our Kids.: (866) 899-2649
Main numbers to the CWS Regional Offices:
• Santa Barbara: (805) 681-4551
• Lompoc: (805) 737-6065
• Santa Maria: (805) 346-7127
Becoming a Resource Family: (866) 899-2649
Adoptions: (866) 899-2649
Financial eligibility for Family Members (foster child funding and heath care)
• Santa Barbara: (866) 404-4007
• Lompoc: (866) 404-4007
• Santa Maria: (866) 404-4007
To Report Suspected Abuse:
• Santa Barbara: (800) 367-0166
• Lompoc: (800) 367-0166
• Santa Maria: (800) 367-0166
Independent Living Program:
• Santa Barbara: (805) 361-6395
• Santa Maria and Lompoc: (805) 349-9600
CenCal Health (Medi-Cal questions and providers): (800) 421-2560
Women, Infants and Children (WIC):
Santa Barbara: (805) 681-5275
Lompoc: (805) 737-6400
Santa Maria: (805) 346-8450
• Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics: Phone: 805-617-7850
• Santa Maria Community Health Centers: (805) 938-9200
• Lompoc Community Health Center: (805) 737-1169
• Santa Ynez Tribal Health: (805) 688-7070
Children’s Health & Disability Prevention (CHDP) – (805) 681-5130
Santa Barbara County Department of Behavioral Wellness: (888) 868-1649
The Quality Parenting Initiative (QPI) is one of Our County. Our Kids. approaches to strengthening the quality of care provided to children and youth living in Resource Family. The goal of QPI is to develop a systematic approach to recruiting and supporting high-quality caregivers in our community and improving the quality of care for children in Resource Family by redefining the expectations of and support for fostering parents.
When QPI is successfully implemented:
• Families have a voice and are capacitated to meet the complex needs of children or youth in their care. In this manner families have a voice in issues that affect the children they are caring for and the way the system treats children and families, and are able to effectively work with the system to meet the needs of the children in their care.
• Resource families, agency staff and birth parents work as a team to support children and youth.
• Resource families receive the support and training they need to work with children and families and know what is expected as well as what to expect.
With your help, and working in partnership with community programs, as well as the RFA Unit and Our County Our SB Kids, we can develop a Quality Parenting Initiative that will meet the needs of children in our community and improve information sharing and partnership between agency staff and Resource Families.
Living in partnership is central to raising healthy children and families. It takes a village and an entire county to provide the resources and support children in Resource Family need to thrive. Santa Barbara County is blessed to share a strong and engaged partnership of providers and communities.
Our County. Our Kids.is guided by a partnership team comprised of leaders from the following organizations. We meet quarterly to develop strategies and address concerns in order to recruit new fostering families and improve the quality of care and support children and caregivers receive. If you would like to join our partnership team, please contact us.
Our County. Our Kids. Partnerships:
Allan Hancock College Lompoc
Allan Hancock College Santa Maria
Angels Foster Care
Arrow Child & Family Ministries
California Youth Connection
Court Appointed Special Advocate Program (CASA)
Changing Faces Residential Programs
Family Care Network, Inc.
Gateway Four Square Community Church, Solvang
Koinonia Family Services
Lompoc Unified School District
Santa Maria Bonita School District
Santa Barbara City College
Santa Barbara County Department of Social Services, Child Welfare Division
• Santa Barbara:
234 Camino del Remedio
Santa Barbara, CA 93110
1100 West Laurel Ave
Lompoc, CA 93436
• Santa Maria:
2125 South Centerpointe Parkway
Santa Maria, CA 93454