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Foster Family & Adoption Services

How to Become a Foster Parent

Fostering at David & Margaret

Today, the need for foster/resource families is even greater than it has been in the past. There are nearly 450,000 children in foster care in the United States and the numbers continue to grow. It is easy to assume this problem doesn’t affect us, but it does. There are children in need in our own community, in fact, Los Angeles County is home to 30,000 of the 50,000 children in foster care in California.

These youth need nurturing families to keep them safe while they are unable to be with their biological families. If you are interested in becoming a resource family (aka foster family), the FFA at David & Margaret will support and guide you every step of the way!

Foster Parent Requirements:

  • Be 21 years of age or older

  • Have an independent source of income

  • Have enough physical space in your home

  • Pass a background check

  • Commit to ongoing training, support, and counseling

Steps to Becoming a Foster Parent:

Step 1: Attend an Orientation

Contact us to schedule an orientation date that works with your schedule, in-person or on Zoom. During orientation, an FFA foster/adoption expert will go over every step of the process, sharing insights, and answering any and all questions.

Step 2: Fill out an application

Once your orientation is complete, you can fill out an application to get the process started. The application asks standard questions including name, place of residence, number of members in your household, and legal history. There are also safety questions on the application to ensure your home environment is suitable for foster youth.

Step 3: Complete 6-Week Training

Applicants will complete 20 hours of mandatory training over the course of six weeks with a social worker in our FFA. The training prepares parents for their experience with children and youth in foster care, strengthening the foundation on which they build their family. Resource/foster parents also must commit to on-going training throughout their foster care journey.

Step 4: Complete a background check and medical screening

While receiving training, background checks will be processed to ensure the safety of these vulnerable children. Medical screenings are also required before families can accept a placement.

Step 5: Complete a Home Study

After all training is complete and background checks have cleared, applicants arrive at the final step in the process: the home study. A social worker will schedule a time to visit your home and conduct a final safety check. This is also the time when the social workers really get to know the family. This step is immensely beneficial when deciding which home will best suit a child.

After successfully completing these 5 steps, Resource Family Approval (RFA) is received and families will begin to receive placement calls matching their family interests. This process can take anywhere from 3 months to a year, depending on how quickly a family wants to move through the process.

Resource Families (Foster Families) receive the following support:

  • Weekly meetings with social workers to go over any placement issues/successes
  • Access to the 24/7 helpline, ongoing training
  • Access to foster parent support groups
  • Mental health services
  • School support
  • Complete adoption services 
  • Monthly stipend (as set by DCFS)
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