Before a child can be placed in your home, your home must be approved. From beginning to end, you will have a Resource Family Approval social worker available to answer questions and equip you with needed information regarding the process of becoming approved to care for children in foster care.
1. Orientation and Application
To begin, you will need to attend a RFA orientation where you will get information on what is needed to become a Resource Family and the needs of children in foster care. An application will need to be completed that includes information about your family, family history, and the reasons you are interested in becoming a resource parent. You can obtain the application at orientation. The orientation is an informal meeting for you to learn the process, ask questions and decide whether becoming a resource parent is the right choice for you and your family.
If you decide caring for a child is right for you and your family, you will need to attend Pre-Approval Training.
The goals of the training are:
- Meet the protective, developmental, cultural and permanency needs of children placed with families
- Strengthen families
- Provide information and tools to care for children who have experienced trauma
- Share resources
Training includes topics such as children attachment issues, grief and loss, discipline, effects of abuse and neglect, sexual abuse, and the effects of foster care and adoption on the family.
You will also be required to attend Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and First-Aid Training.
3. At-Home Consultation
The RFA social worker will schedule a time to meet with you and your family in your home. We will make sure your home passes basic fire and health inspections and provides a suitable environment for children in foster care. You will be informed of necessary requirements during your training. The RFA social worker will conduct interviews with your family to gain information about your family and how you may best assist children in foster care.
4. Complete and Pass Criminal Background Check
Not all criminal history will prevent you from being approved. Applicants with criminal or arrest history are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. In certain circumstances, the law allows for exemptions to be made when there is a criminal history.
When you are officially approved to accept foster children in your home, you will receive your approval certificate. At this stage you and the RFA social worker can make decisions about the number of children, ages and behaviors of the children that you feel you can successfully accept into your family.
Once you are approved, you will begin to receive children into your home at your discretion. When a placement is needed for a child, you will receive a call from our Centralized Placement Support Unit to discuss a particular child. You will have an opportunity to review their history with the social worker and ask questions. You are under no obligation to take a child you do not believe is right for your family.