The Resource Family Approval (RFA) program was developed to help meet California’s goal of ensuring that all children live in committed, nurturing, and permanent families. Specifically, RFA establishes a new family-friendly and child-centered approval process for all related and non-related families seeking to care for children and youth in foster care. Because this new process consolidates and replaces existing requirements (foster parent licensing and certification, relative approval, adoption, and guardianship approvals) no additional home approvals are necessary should a family wish to pursue adoption or guardianship of a child in foster care (updates to the approval will occur at least annually and may be necessary if there are changes in the household or personal life events). Under the program, which will be statewide beginning January 2017, all caregivers of children and youth in foster care are approved to be “resource families.” Once approved, a Resource Family is able to be an emergency, temporary, and/or permanent family for a child.


  • RFA is a streamlined process that includes one application, one background check and a combined home environment, and psychosocial assessment. This will eliminate redundant paperwork for families and maximize the efficient use of staff and system resources.
  • The improved approval standards will be consistent regardless of a child’s case plan. This allows for a seamless transition to permanency through adoption or guardianship when a child is unable to return to his or her parents.
  • Increased stability in foster care will assist you with developing supportive lifelong relationships and improved outcomes for children, youth and young adults.