What You Need to Know About Becoming a Foster Parent in California

Foster parents provide a stable environment for children who need temporary care outside of their home environment due to parental abuse, exploitation, or neglect. Here’s how to become a foster parent in California.

Foster care helps children who cannot live with their birth parents or relatives until family problems are resolved. In many situations, foster parents will collaborate with social services to reconnect children with their birth parents once a more stable home life is established. Children who need foster care typically come from the juvenile court, and a series of requirements and legal proceedings are required for the juvenile dependency process.

Role of a Foster Parent

The role of a foster parent is to provide a safe and stable environment for the children they are fostering. A unique aspect of being a foster parent is that they can impact the lives of many different children in the foster care system. Whether they are fostering several children at once, introducing one new foster child to their biological children, or have fostered many different children over the years, becoming a foster parent can be a fulfilling experience for everyone involved. Another aspect of the role involves looking out for the foster child’s best interests, whether that be working with social services to reunite the child with their birth parents or adopting the children themself.

Related: Can a Foster Parent Fight for Custody?

Getting Started

In order to become a foster parent, one must acquire a license to run a foster home. Once this process is initiated, a licensing worker will visit the home and organize a meeting with all family members planning to foster children. Prospective foster parents then work with social services to determine which type of child (age, grade level, background) will thrive most in their home.

Related: Foster Parent Requirements: What Disqualifies You?

It is important to remember that there are some children who require more intense care than others, and they will be placed accordingly in a more structured environment. Typically, those who require more intensive care will reside in a community care facility that houses a ranging number of foster children. A community facility is more suitable for children in need of more care because it offers specialized treatment for children that a standard foster (single-family) home may not be able to provide. However, if a foster family is interested in learning how to operate a group home, they can learn more by reaching out to their local county welfare office. A comprehensive list of county welfare centers in California can be found here.

FAQs About Becoming a Foster Parent in California

Can a foster parent receive financial assistance?

A foster parent can receive payments every month to cover the costs of feeding, clothing, and supporting the child with material goods while in their care.

Do foster children in California have healthcare coverage?

Yes, foster children have medical and dental coverage through the Medi-Cal program. More information on this program can be found here.

Contact Us

If you’re wondering how to become a foster parent in California, contact us. We’ll get you in touch with the most qualified attorney for your unique legal matter. We’re here for you 24/7. Your initial consultation is free.