What is a resource family (formerly foster family)?
A resource family, or resource parent, is the new name used in the state of California instead of foster parent or family. A resource parent is trained and approved to provide foster care and adoptive services to youth and young adults. There are many kinds of caregivers, depending on what the needs are, and the term “resource parent” can be used universally. Resource families may refer to foster parents, foster-to-adopt families, and kinship caregivers, who are all critical partners in providing care to youth and young adults in California.
What role does a resource parent play?
The role of a resource parent is to provide a safe, stable, and loving home for a foster child or young adult while they are displaced from their biological family. There are around 60,000 youth and young adults in foster care in California under the age of 18. Roughly half of them will have substance abuse issues by 24 years old, and fewer than a quarter of them will go to college. Resource parents and families provide an environment to reverse these trends by providing a stable environment in which the foster youth can flourish.
How do I become a resource parent and what is involved in the process?
The process to becoming a resource parent is straightforward and we’re here to support you every step of the way. You can contact your local Pacific Clinics office to be put in touch with a resource family recruiter or apply online to begin the process. Potential parents complete an application including criminal background check, fingerprinting, ensure financial stability. Next, you will attend an individualized orientation and participate in training. The final step is a home study interview to ensure the safety and well-being of the youth in your home.
Potential resource parents will also obtain CPR and First Aid certification and fingerprint clearances. Remember, our job is to support you every step of the way through the formal approval process to becoming a resource parent. You can start the process by contacting your local resource family recruiter or filling out an online application.
How long does it take to become a resource parent?
Approval to foster a youth generally takes between two and four months. The approval team guides resource family applicants throughout the process to make it as smooth as possible.
How much will it cost to apply to be a resource parent?
Resource parents will incur only minimal expense directly associated with the approval process. Typical expenses of fingerprinting fees and CPR and First Aid Certification can be reimbursed after the youth has joined the family.
What is the monthly rate to foster a child or youth?
Resource parents receive funds for providing care and resources for the youth. The rates start at $1,000 per month, depending on the youth’s needs. This rate will also vary based on your location. We want to provide you with the resources you need to ensure a successful placement with the youth and financially support you to make this happen.
What are the different types of foster care?
There are several types of foster care offered by Pacific Clinics. The most common type is Standard Foster Care. Other types include Intensive Services Foster Care (ISFC) for youth with a higher level of need, respite care for emergency short-term placements of youth, and AB12 Extended Care for young adults aged 18-21. There are also Professional Parents, who provide 60-day to 6-months of care, focusing on stabilizing youth before they join a family.
Can I foster a youth if I have children of my own living in the home?
Absolutely! Many of our families include both biological and foster children. It is important, however, that your own children are supportive of becoming a resource family and that their concerns and opinions are given serious consideration.
Can my foster youth share a room with my own child?
Generally, yes, though there are many factors to consider. Each child must have a separate bed, closet space, and a chest of drawers, among other requirements. Please speak to a resource family recruiter or begin the Foster Care application process now to learn more.
How much choice do I have regarding the placement of a foster youth?
The ultimate decision on any child joining your family rests with you. From the beginning of the process, we gather as much information as possible to determine which youth would best fit into your family. Once you are certified and ready for a youth to join your family, and once we have a youth who we assess to be a good match, we will share as much information as possible about the youth and address any questions you may have.
Bringing together your family and the youth is the most important aspect of the foster care process. We strive to build a strong working relationship with our families to ensure this is successful.
Can I still work if I become a resource parent?
Absolutely! You can work full or part time, be retired, or anything in between. All that matters is that you have the ability and desire to care for a youth in the foster care system and provide a safe, stable home life for the child or children in your care.
Is there an age limit for being a resource parent?
Adults 21 and over can apply to become a resource parent. As long as you have the desire and ability to care for youth in the foster care system and provide a stable, loving family, you can apply to be a resource parent.
What is the age range of youth in foster care?
Youth in foster care range in age from infants to 21 years old.
Can I adopt a youth in the foster care system?
Yes, however you must be a concurrent foster home. Concurrent planning means that you are open to fostering a youth who may be reunified with family or relatives. All Pacific Clinics’ resource families are approved to be concurrent, so if you choose to become one through our program, you will be eligible to adopt. Only concurrent foster homes will be considered to care for infants.
Please read more about concurrent planning on our Adoption Frequently Asked Questions page.
What are the challenges of being a resource parent?
Being a resource parent is a highly rewarding role. However, we understand that there are challenges that all families face when welcoming a new youth or young adult into to their home.
There are many stigmas surrounding foster care that can be hard to combat and overcome. Handling the trauma and behavioral challenges of the youth in foster care can seem daunting, but Pacific Clinics is your partner while you adjust and learn how to work with the youth place in your care.
It can often be an emotional challenge to have a youth or young adult return home after bonding and growing close to them. We also find that many resource parents have trouble recognizing when they need to take a break and take advantage of our respite care. This is especially important to avoid burning out.
What is respite care?
Respite care is short-term care that is either planned or emergency care of a child or youth. Respite care gives resource/foster parents a break from the 24/7 job of being a parent. Often resource parents provide respite for other resource parents.
How long will the foster youth live with me?
The length of care will depend on the situation specific to each youth and young adult placed in your care, but it can range anywhere from only a few days of respite care to an average of 6-9 months. In some cases, it can continue all the way through to a permanent placement, should all parties involved agree it is the best for the youth.
Each type of foster care will be different, but the goal is to provide a safe and stable home for the youth on a short-term, temporary basis until a reunification with biological family can occur, or another permanent, home-like setting can be arranged.