CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO HUMAN SERVICES AGENCY

Foster FAQ

What is a foster family and a resource family?

Foster family is the commonly known term for a family that cares for a child in the foster care system.

Resource family is a relatively new term that is replacing “foster family” in the foster care system. The term is directly related to the updated certification process for California caregivers called the Resource Family Approval (RFA). RFA creates a unified platform for all resource families to receive the same information, training, and opportunity for support.

Who can qualify to be a foster/resource family?

Anyone can qualify! We accept heterosexual couples, same sex couples and single individuals.

Will I have to do training to be approved?

Yes. A 14-hour Pre-Service Training is provided to all potential foster/resource families. Your spouse or domestic partner would also be required to attend. Classes are held a variety of times including, weekdays, evenings, and Saturday. CPR and First Aid is required. Specialized training to care for children ages 0-3 is mandatory. Additional training is provided year round and Resource Families are invited to attend. A minimum of 8 hours of training each year is required to maintain current knowledge and encourage growth as a care provider.

What is the cost of getting approved as foster/resource family?

There is no cost. The process should be free. The only potential expense is getting a medical clearance, but we have low-cost or free options for families. View our list of Low-Cost Health Providers.

What are the certification steps for becoming a foster parent?

  1. You’ll work directly with our team in San Francisco County.
  2. Fill out the application and collect supporting documents.
  3. Complete trainings.
  4. Provide references.
  5. Pass background checks.
  6. Complete home and family assessments with a social worker (4-6 home visits).
  7. Get approved.

How many children can I have in my home?

You can have a maximum of 6 children, including your own biological children or other minors living in the home. Additional limitations may apply if providing care for children with high medical needs.

I don’t live in San Francisco. How do I foster a child in my own county?

You can call or email your county’s Resource Family Approval (RFA) contact on this state-wide list.

Where can I get a low-cost health screening or low-cost health coverage?

Please view our list of Low-Cost Health Providers.

What are the safety requirements for my home if I want to become a foster parent?

Please view our Home Safety Checklist.