Does your home have a lot of heart and a little more room?

We’re seeking Resource Families who can support children and youth in having family connections that will last a    lifetime, follow these steps to get started:

Review the list of responsibilities, steps and requirements for fostering and adoption to see if you are eligible.

Look through Children and Family Service’s support services as well as those of our local Foster Family Agencies (FFAs).

Decide on the level of care you could provide. If you are unable to commit to Resource Family or adoption, check out other ways to help here.

Contact Our County. Our Kids. or one of our FFA partners with questions and to help you take the next step – Resource Families training!

County Requirements for becoming a Resource Family

Before a child can be placed in your home, federal and state law require that you become an approved Resource Family. The Santa Barbara County Department of Social Services will assist you in this process at no cost to you. Here are the 6 steps to take on the pathway to becoming a Resource Family:
  1. Complete the online RFA Orientation and complete and electronically sign the application. The RFA online Orientation is an informative video that will give you an overview of the RFA process and the CWS system. It will help you make a decision about becoming a resource parent. After viewing the Orientation video you will be able to complete an application online through the Binti program. To start the process click on the link.
  2. In-Home Meeting. A Social Worker will schedule a time to meet with you and your family in your home. They will make sure your home passes a health and safety inspection and provides a suitable environment for children in the foster care system. They will also provide you with information regarding the additional requirements and training.
  3. Complete and Pass Criminal Background check. The Social Worker will arrange for you to submit fingerprints via Live Scan and assist you with any additional information necessary to request a criminal background clearance.
  4. Attend Resource Family Approval (RFA) training. Our goal is for Resource Families to understand and effectively support children and youth in foster care, so that Resource Families are ready to provide children and youth the opportunity to heal, and create safe and nurturing relationships. Training is made up of two tiers, pre-approval training and ongoing training. The pre-approval training program will provide you with the information and skills that will help you nurture and care for a child or youth in foster care. Pre-approval training also includes CPR and First-Aid requirements. Ongoing training opportunities are designed to boost your skills and readiness to meet the needs of children in foster care.
  5. Family Evaluation. A social worker from a cooperative agency will schedule an appointment with you and your family to complete your assessment. This assessment will assist in determining your readiness to provide a safe stable home environment for children needing out of home care.
  6. Approval and Placement. Once you have completed the above steps you and the RFA worker by following the RFA Written Directives, will come to a joint decision about the number, ages, gender and behaviors of the children that you feel you are prepared to accept into your family home.
Thank you for your interest in becoming a Resource Family! If you are ready to start the process, click here to view the Resource Family Approval Orientation and start your online application. If you would like more information on becoming a Resource Parent, click here to contact us.

Additional Requirements

The following is a partial list of requirements to be met prior to becoming approved as a Resource Family:
  • Have adequate sleep and living space for a child/ren
  • Complete Criminal Background Clearance
  • Complete Resource Family Approval Training including CPR/First Aid
  • An in home assessment of the Home Environment
  • Complete a Family Evaluation
  • Medical examination
  • Demonstrate financial ability to ensure the stability and financial security of the family
  • Sufficient sleeping and living areas for all members of the household
  • Satisfactory personal references
  • Other requirements as requested
Contact us with any questions you have! 
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