Resource Family Approval

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The Resource Family Approval (RFA) Program 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 processes and replaces those processes. Resource Families provide placement for children, youth, and young adults (non-minor dependents from 18-21 years old) who are under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, or otherwise in the care of a county child welfare agency or probation department.

The mission of Tuolumne County Foster Care is simple: “Our Kids, Our Community, Our Team.” Tuolumne County foster parents are given the unique opportunity to support the children and families in our community. By allowing our children to stay locally, each child is given the opportunity to continue attending his or her school, maintain social and familial relationships and thrive in familiar surroundings at a time when his or her life is uncertain. As a full partner in the Foster Care Team, the resource family plays a vital role in the success of a child.

Our kids need you. Will you join our team?
Resource Family Role
The role of a resource family is to demonstrate excellence in parenting in a nurturing, supportive environment while preparing the foster child for reunification with his or her birth family. Resource families are part of a team who supports the child by embracing all members of the child’s life, often providing support to the child’s biological family, acting as a lifelong connection to promote a healthy and positive change. This allows the resource family to promote stability and permanence for the child throughout his or her life. When reunification with the birth family is not possible, the resource family prepares the child for the next steps of permanency, which may include adoption.
Resource Family Requirements
To become an approved resource family with the Tuolumne County Department of Social Services, applicants must:
  • Be a resident of Tuolumne County
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Attend an RFA Orientation
  • Submit an RFA Application
  • Submit fingerprints to Live Scan and consent to additional criminal background checks, including DMV (Fingerprinting required for all adults living in the home and minors 14 or older with a criminal history)
  • Complete a home inspection to ensure the home and outdoor space meet required safety standards, and make any required corrections
  • Participate in at least three face-to-face interviews (Required for ALL persons living in the home) and complete a Psycho-Social Assessment, which determines your readiness to be a resource family
  • Complete 12 hours of Pre-Approval Training
  • Be CPR and First Aid certified
  • Complete and submit all other required paperwork/documents
  • Meet all other RFA requirements
Once approved, resource families may be considered for Foster Care, Guardianship, and Adoption placements.

RFA Orientation Schedule
RFA orientations are held every Tuesday at the Tuolumne County Child and Visitation Center located at 101 Hospital Road, Sonora, CA 95370 at 2:00 pm by appointment. Call (209) 533-5711 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Orientations are an informal meeting for you to learn about what is expected of becoming a quality caregiver, including basic information about foster care and adoption. Please come prepared to ask as many questions as needed to feel comfortable with the process. An RFA social worker will review the application packet during the orientation. There is no commitment required by attending an orientation.
RFA Application
Start your online RFA application by clicking on the Binti link below.
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Hard copy applications available upon request.
RFA Pre-Approval Training
RFA pre-approval training is offered through the Columbia College Foster/Kinship Care Education Program. Relevant topics are explored throughout 12 hours of training, divided into four modules. Each module is three hours. Participants must complete all four modules in order to satisfy the pre-approval training requirements of becoming a resource family caregiver.
Click the following links to access the Tuolumne County Resource Family Approval Pre-Approval Training flyers:
Fall and winter dates coming soon!
Contact the FKCE Coordinator, Rebekah Elizondo, at (209) 588-5169 or elizondor@yosemite.edu to reserve your seat and obtain directions.

Documents
Tuolumne County Foster Care Brochure
RFA Written Directives

Helpful Links
California Department of Social Services RFA internet page
Resource Family Approval Guide

Contact Information
For more information, please contact the RFA Team at (209) 533-5711.