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Apply to be a resource family

Meet with us

Get more information and attend orientation.

Call us at (408) 299-5437 (KIDS) or complete on-line Santa Clara County Resource Family Application to register for a one-hour informational meeting to get additional information about becoming a resource family.
Applicant(s) must attend this meeting and complete the RFA Orientation.

Application process

To begin the resource family approval (RFA) process, follow these steps:

Complete initial application by submitting application received at orientation or complete on-line Santa Clara County Resource Family Application
Attend 27-hour pre-approval training to learn about Department of Family and Children's Services and the Juvenile Dependency System, how to meet the needs of children and youth in care, and how to best work with their family of origin and social worker.
Obtain certification in pediatric and adult CPR and first aid by completing in classroom-hands on training for initial certification. This must be completed within 90 days of RFA approval.
Complete an application packet, which includes references, health questionnaire, verification of employment and control of property, e.g., utility bills, grant deed or rental/lease agreement.
All adults residing or regularly present in the home must submit to a background check/live scan.
Complete a permanency assessment.
  • Home must have adequate bedroom space to accommodate all family members including children and youth placed in your home.
  • All furniture must be safe and in good repair.
  • Home must have functioning smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Poisons, firearms and other dangerous weapons must be locked.
  • Working telephone is required.
  • Home and yard must be clean, safe, sanitary and in good repair.
  • Swimming pools, hot tubs, ponds, or any other bodies of water must be secured according to RFA Written Directives.
  • Medicines must be inaccessible to children and youth.
  • Home remodels, additions and conversions, i.e., garages, must not pose a violation of personal rights or a hazard to health and safety and may require an inspection by a local building inspector.
  • Cleaners, toxins and other hazardous items must be inaccessible to children and youth.

Approval process

The Resource Family Approval (RFA) program is a streamlined, family-friendly and child-centered process. It is a state program implemented by Santa Clara County Department of Family and Children's Services, which oversees resource families who are approved to provide care and supervision for children 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Under California law, families or individuals must be approved under the Resource Family Approval Program to care full-time for an unrelated child under the age of 21. Resource Family homes are required to comply with the California Department of Children's Services Written Directives for the Resource Family Approval program.

Our team at the Department of Family and Children’s Services tries to have resource (foster) families approved within 90 days after you submit your RFA application. The time frame can depend on a variety of factor including background check outcomes and how quickly you complete the Pre-approval training, and Assessment. The process to select a child for placement with you may take longer. This can depend on your preferences and the needs of the children needing placement.

While the RFA program does not charge a fee, keep in mind there may be costs to get your home ready to meet health and safety standards. See the home inspection list above to help you understand the expenses to equip your home to the required standards.