Foster Care Licensing

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Becoming a Resource Family

Resource Family Approval (RFA) is a new family friendly and child-centered caregiver approval process that combines elements of the current foster parent licensing, relative approval and approvals for adoption and guardianship and replaces those processes.


  • Is streamlined: It eliminates the duplication of existing processes
  • Unifies approval standards for all caregivers regardless of the child's case plan
  • Includes a comprehensive psychosocial assessment, home environment check and training for all families, including relatives
  • Prepares families to better meet the needs of vulnerable children in the foster care system
  • Allows seamless transition to permanency

 Step 1:  Attend an Orientation

We want to help you determine if becoming a resource parent is right for you and your family; therefore, you will be invited to attend a Resource Family Approval Program Information Orientation.  At the orientation, child welfare professionals will provide an overview of the child welfare system, resource family types, expectations and specific information about the approval process.  You do not have to make any major decisions at this point, the only thing you need to do is decide whether or not you want to continue with the journey of becoming a resource parent.  At the end of the orientation, you will be given an application to take with you as well as a certificate of attendance which will need to be turned in with your completed application within 6 months of the orientation date. You do not need to reserve a seat to attend Orientation, however seating is on a first come first serve basis so please arrive about 15 minutes early to ensure that there is a seat available for you.

To view the schedule of the Fresno County Resource Family Orientation calendar (March 2017 -  March 2018) please click here

Step 2:  Submit an Application

Applicants are to bring their completed application packet and verification of completed RFA Orientation to the Crocker Building, 2135 Fresno Street, Suite #101, (559)600-2396, in the reception area. Applicants may walk in but are encouraged to make an appointment to Live Scan after turning in their application packet.  Reception will contact an RFA SW "Interviewer of the Day". The RFA SW "Interviewer of the Day" will review the RFA Application Packet for accuracy and completion. Once completed, an RFA applicant number will be assigned to the applicant and the application will be logged in the RFA tracking database.

Step 3:  Attend Pre Service Training

During the application process, you will attend a 4-week Trauma Informed Pre-service training program taught by experienced resource parents and DSS staff.  This training will help develop your parenting skills, build confidence, and assist you in assessing your own strengths as a resource parent.  You will learn about your rights and responsibilities as a caregiver, how to work with social workers and birth parents as well as how to help children adjust to their temporary placement in your home.  This training program is of no cost to you and can be started before your application has been submitted. There is a Pre-service training program at West Fresno Regional Center, as well as one at Fresno City College.

To view the schedule of the Pre-Service Trainings located at West Fresno Regional Center and Fresno City College (August - December 2017), please click here 

Upon the successful completion of all of the approval requirements, home inspection, and training, you will become a resource parent.  This means you can now care for dependent children in your home.  Please keep in mind that a child's placement in a home is determined by his/her needs; therefore, you may not be immediately contacted for placement upon approval.

For additional information on becoming a resource family, please give us a call at 1-877-533-KIDS (5437).