Foster Care & Resource Families

Girl Blowing Flower

Many children in El Dorado County currently need foster care. The El Dorado County Child Welfare Program arranges for the temporary care of foster children through Resource Families.

What is a Resource Family?

A Resource Family is any individual, couple or family who wants to provide care to a related or unrelated child (or children) who is under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, or otherwise in the care of a county welfare agency or probation department. Resource Families play a critical role in the lives of these children, providing a feeling of safety, permanence and well-being.

Resource Families work together with the County and the child’s family to successfully return the child to their parents. In situations where the Court and County determine that a return home is not in the child’s best interest, Resource Families may become the permanent home through adoption or guardianship.

The term Resource Family is now used to describe all types of caregivers, rather than the various terms: Foster Parent, Adoptive Parent, Relative, or Non-Related Extended Family Member.

Resource Family Approval (RFA)

RFA 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 and replaces those processes. The RFA:

  • Is streamlined: Eliminates duplication of existing processes.
  • Unifies approval standards for all caregivers regardless of the child’s case plan
  • Includes a comprehensive psychosocial assessment, home environment check and training for all families, including relatives.
  • Prepares families to better meet the needs of vulnerable children in the foster care system.
  • Allows seamless transition to permanency.

How to become a Resource Family in El Dorado County

An Agency Approval is required to operate a Resource Family Home in El Dorado County. Contact the El Dorado County RFA Unit at (530) 642-7159 to start the process. RFA parents must complete the following steps:

  1. Complete a Resource Family Application (please call us and we can mail an application to you). 
  2. Attend a pre-approval training series. The training is free and provided in collaboration with the Folsom Lake College Foster Kinship Care Education Program. Classes are held at the Health and Human Services Agency in Placerville or in South Lake Tahoe at Lake Tahoe Community College. Childcare is available as needed. For information about training, please contact Dana McKnight in South Lake Tahoe at (530) 541-4660 x528 or Juline Aguilar in Placerville at (530) 642-5659.
  3. Become First Aid and CPR certified.
  4. Be fingerprinted and pass a criminal background check (no felonies).
  5. Pass a health screening and TB screening.
  6. A home visit by a social worker will also be required to confirm the home meets RFA standards.

Who Can be a Resource Family?

Anyone age 21 and over with an open heart and a commitment to the well-being of children and families is welcome to apply. This opportunity is open to people of all ages from diverse family types. Single parents, LGBT couples and those with grown children are all welcome to apply, as are those from all ethnic backgrounds and religious preferences. Background checks will be explored on a confidential case-by-case basis and may or may not preclude approval depending on the severity and nature of any past charges. Please be open to partnering with the County, participating fully in the psycho social assessment process, and most importantly helping better the lives of children and families in need.

Children with Special Needs

The County is especially grateful to families who can open their homes to foster children with special needs. Some extra funding is available in some cases to help offset associated costs. Special needs children include:

  • Medically fragile (substance exposed infants, children with special medical challenges such as diabetes, etc.)
  • Children with developmental and intellectual disabilities
  • Children in need of specialty mental health care
  • Older children (teenagers and non-minor dependents up to age 21)
  • Children who have experienced severe trauma and sexual abuse
  • Children in the probation system


Resource Family Approval Program Written Directives