Our County. Our Kids. vision is to continuously provide safe and stable Resource Families that will love and support children and youth in foster care. We believe that children and youth can overcome adversity and reach their best potential.
Our County. Our Kids. (OC.OK.) is a program of the County of Santa Barbara Department of Social Services (SB DSS), Child Welfare Services Division (SB CWS). OC.OK. is the Resource Family (formerly known as foster homes) and kinship caregiver recruitment, support and training program at SB CWS. Our goal is to identify and prepare homes to that will provide our kids with loving and nurturing homes that reflect the diverse and rich social, cultural, ethnic, faith and gender identity experiences that create the rich tapestry of children and youth in foster care, the community of Resource Families and Santa Barbara County as a whole. We are committed to working inclusively with the community at large, to identify and recruit quality Resource Families, and also provide care and support to our Resource Families and Our Kids in foster care.
The objective of Our County. Our Kids. is to recruit and support homes that will provide quality Resource Family care to children and youth in foster care. Quality Resource Family care is about promoting a network of support and sharing around Resource Families, and begins with the recognition that Resource Parents and other supportive adults in a child or youth’s life knows:
- Who to contact when they need information and resources
- That they have the opportunity to share ideas or concerns with both service providers and fellow Resource Families
- That they are a respected member of the child or youth’s Professional Team at Juvenile Probation and Child Welfare Services.
What is a Resource Family?
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. The term Resource Family describes all types of caregivers, such as Community homes that are ready to care for a child in foster care, Kinship homes such as relative and nonrelative extended family, and Adoptive parents.
The purpose of a Resource Family is to provide a child with a feeling of safety, permanence, and well-being while parents address the issues which first led to the child being placed in foster care. By providing the child a safe and permanent home setting, a Resource Family helps a child prepare to return to his or her parent, or to be adopted by a loving Resource Family. When out-of-home placement is needed to keep the child safe, Our County. Our Kids. 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, Our County. Our Kids. makes efforts to actively recruit and support Resource Families that are able to keep them connected with their community and culture. Resource Families work together with Our County. Our Kids. staff and the child’s family to successfully return the child to their parents.
OC.OK.’s vision is to continuously provide safe and stable Resource Families that will love and support children and youth in foster care. We believe that children and youth can overcome adversity and reach their best potential. We envision children and youth who are emotionally, physically and mentally healthy, as well as socially integrated, safe and financially self-sufficient individuals who contribute to a thriving community.
This vision requires that OC.OK. strive to remain solution focused and maintain partnerships and collaborative relationships with Foster Care Stakeholders in the community that support the commitment of Juvenile Probation and Child Welfare Services to help children and families achieve self-sufficiency.
Our County. Our Kids. supports SB CWS and Juvenile Probation’s commitment to children, youth, young adults and families achieving self-sufficiency, by:
- Focusing our efforts to build support networks and lifelong relationships around our children and youth in the Resource Family system.
- Working with families and prospective mentors by helping them determine if they are ready to provide a lifelong connection.
- Support long-term, caring relationships that lead to stable team of adults invested in improving the outcomes for children, youth, and young adults.
- Working to prepare Resource Families so that they can meet the needs of children under the supervision of Child Welfare Services and Juvenile Probation
Other Helpful Contact Information
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. These steps include 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 and Juvenile Probation provide information on ongoing training on topics that are pertinent to your role as a Resource Family.
The ability to deploy quality Resource Families is a primary concern for SB DSS and Juvenile Probation. We 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. We are also committed to supporting Resource Families’ capacity to obtain answers to questions and concerns, and navigate the Child Welfare or Juvenile Probation systems.
Therefore the leadership at Our County. Our Kids. and the RFA Team is ready to answer your questions and receive your concerns:
Program Manager at Child Welfare Services: Marianne Reagan
Program Manager at Juvenile Probation: Brian Swanson
Resource Family Approval/Licensing Unit Supervisor: Leticia Alvarez
Permanency Supervisor, Child Welfare Services: Janet Parat
Placement Supervisor, Probation: Rose Zamora
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:
FCNI ILP & THP-Plus Supervisor
805.602.8747 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Heidi Thompson, MSW
Santa Barbara County DSS ILP Coordinator & TAYS Unit Supervisor
805.346.7127 • email@example.com
www.TAYconnected.com: ILP information for Youth in Foster Care and Transition Age Youth.
Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
Santa Barbara: (805) 681-5275
Lompoc: (805) 737-6400
Santa Maria: (805) 346-8450
Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics:
Medical, Dental, Behavioral Wellness and Outpatient Drug/Alcohol Recovery
Santa Barbara and Goleta:
Community Health Centers:
Lompoc and Santa Maria:
Carpinteria Health Care Center:
Santa Ynez Tribal Health:
Santa Barbara County Department of Behavioral Wellness:
24 Hour Crisis response and Services Line (888) 868-1649
Adult Services: (805) 681-5190
Children’s Services: (805) 884-1600
Drug and Alcohol Services: (805) 681-5440
Adult Services: (805) 737-6690
Children’s Services: (805) 737-6600
Adult Services: (805) 934-6380
Children’s Services: 934-6385
Tri Counties Regional Center (TCRC): Santa Barbara County
Services for adults children with developmental disabilities and special needs:
Santa Barbara: (805) 962-7881 / (800) 322-6994
Santa Maria, CA 93455: (805) 922-4640 / (800) 266-9071
Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
Santa Barbara: (805) 681-5275
Lompoc: (805) 737-6400
Santa Maria: (805) 346-8450
Children’s Resource & Referral Program:
Santa Barbara, 805-963-6631
Lompoc and Santa Maria 805-925-1989
Adoption Assistance Program (AAP):
Financial Aid and Health Care coverage for parents and children:
Santa Barbara: (866) 404-4007
Lompoc: (866) 404-4007
Santa Maria: (866) 404-4007
Children’s Health & Disability Prevention (CHDP):
Medical and Dental support for children and youth in foster care
Medi-Cal questions and referrals for providers
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. In order to do our part, Our County. Our Kids. follows the principle that collaborative, trauma-informed child welfare practice team, requires skillful engagement and meaningful partnerships with families and their networks. This allows for the development of safety and care plans that foster behavior change, healing and growth within a family system to so that a child’s safety, permanency and well-being are reserved.
Our County. Our Kids. recognizes that in order to achieve this standard, it will take an entire village and county partnership, so that necessary resources and support reach children so that they can thrive. Our County. Our Kids. recognizes that enhancing safety for children and youth is a shared value in our community. Partnering on behalf of children and families is an ongoing process, not an event. It is a process that is adjusted when needed, and is open and flexible so that partners may be able to contribute to meaningful and sustainable networks of support and protection for children are created over time.
Here are some of our partners in the community:
Our County. Our Kids. Partnerships:
Allan Hancock College Santa Maria
Angels Foster Care
Arrow Child & Family Ministries
California Youth Connection
Child Abuse Listening Mediation – CALM
Court Appointed Special Advocate Program (CASA)
Goleta Union School District
Independent Living Program
Lompoc Foursquare Church
Pathway Family Services
Quality Parenting Initiative
Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition
Santa Barbara City College
Children’s Resource and Referral of Santa Barbara County – CRR
Santa Maria Foursquare Church
Trinity Church of the Nazarene
Our County. Our Kids is ready to partner with community service programs, businesses, schools, faith centers and government organizations in Santa Barbara County. If you are interested in partnering with us, send us a message firstname.lastname@example.org.
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