It all starts with the willingness to open your heart and home to a child who needs you.
There are some very basic requirements that need to be met by all families interested in becoming a Resource Family. This list encompasses the most common conditions that must be met to become certified as a Resource Family.
- Your residence must be located in Contra Costa County and must meet basic health and safety standards established by the State of California
- The home must have sufficient bedrooms so that adults and children have separate bedrooms. Children may share a bedroom depending on their gender and age.
- Rooms commonly used for other purposes (e.g., dining room, hallway or garage) cannot be used as a bedroom by any member of the household.
- Each applicant must have sufficient income to meet his or her own family’s financial needs.
- A criminal record check will be conducted on each applicant and adult in the potential foster or adoptive home.
- Adult caretakers must be in reasonably good health and free of communicable diseases, especially TB. TB tests are required.
- The home must have a working telephone.
- The main caretaker of the children, or another member of the household over the age of 18, must be certified in CPR and First Aid. We can assist you in locating an appropriate class.
Who can become a resource parent?
- You are over 18 and in good physical and emotional health.
- You may be married or single.
- You can be in a same sex relationship.
- You can be working parents.
- You can live in an apartment or a house.
- You need to have the necessary skills, stamina and patience to deal effectively with children who may have emotional or physical needs.
- You must have sufficient income to support your own family without relying on foster care payments.
- You’ll need to obtain a state Resource Family Approval Certificate. That process includes several steps (including but not limited to) completing a background check, providing references, providing health clearances and participating in a thorough assessment of you and your family by a social worker.
- You’ll need to work as a cooperative team member with other children’s services specialists including agency workers, court representatives, health care professionals and community agencies.
- You must be accepting of the temporary nature of foster care. This means supporting efforts to reunite foster children with their birth families, or when that is not possible, preparing them to move on to a permanent home.
Support and Training
When someone chooses to be a Resource Family they become a very important member of a team of professionals who are dedicated to the welfare of children in their care.
Each child placed with you will have a social worker. Social workers play a key role in the child’s life and are available to assist Resource Families in their efforts. In addition to coordinating birth parent visits, court appearances, and therapeutic services, social workers are oftentimes a Resource Family’s link to a variety of resources.
There are additional supportive groups for Resource Families such as the Foster Family Network (FFN). The FFN is a subordinate chapter of the California State Foster Parent Association, Inc. The FFN provides support, mentoring, education and links to valuable resources within the community. They also host a number of fun events throughout the year for Resource Families.
Lastly, financial assistance is also available for the children of the individuals who become Resource Families. See Foster Care Benefits.
The Resource Family approval proves involves completing a two hour informational orientation and 12 hours to pre-approval RFA (Resource Family Approval) training. The training is paid for by Contra Costa County. After approval, a Resource Parent must complete 8 hours of training a year. The ongoing trainings are offered at the three local junior colleges (Los Medanos College, Diablo Valley College and Contra Costa College at no cost to a Resource Parent). Additionally, Resource Parents must be CPR certified and maintain that certification.