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Department of Human Services

Sonoma County Foster Care

Become a Foster Parent

Foster boy flies paper airplane in a blue sky

Foster parents are also known as Resource Families. Resource Family Approval is the State of California process that an adult, relative, family friend or adoptive family completes to be certified to provide a caring home for foster children and youth.

Foster parents must meet certain requirements prior to State approval (see partial list below). A Family, Youth and Children's Division social worker will guide you through the approval process.

Steps to Becoming a Foster or Adoptive Parent

  1. Attend an online Monthly Information Sessions talk to learn more about whether foster care is right for you. At the Zoom meeting, you will receive basic information on foster care, adoption, and the Resource Family Approval process. Please reserve your seat by calling (707) 565-4274 or Email

  2. Attend a Foster / Resource Pre-Service Training. The series is offered in English and Spanish by the non-profit Child Parent Institute. Topics include:
    • Overview of child welfare's role
    • Your role on the professional team
    • Positive parenting skills
    • Childhood trauma and traumatic stress
    • Coping with loss and transition

  3. Complete the Resource Family Application form and supporting documents. You'll be fingerprinted for your background check. (There are no fees.) Approval takes 90 days once the application is submitted.

  4. Train for CPR and First Aid certification.

  5. Arrange a home visit with a Family Youth and Children social worker, who’ll evaluate the home for safety, comfort and bedroom space.

  6. Interview with a Family Youth and Children social worker to discuss matching a child with your family situation and preferences.

When the background check is complete and the requirements are met, you will be eligible to care for a foster child.

Call (707) 565-4274 | Email