Becoming A Resource Family

Call our information number at 1 (866) 899-2649 to request more information. You can also click here to learn more about programs and services available to resource families in Santa Barbara County. If you are interested in becoming a Resource Family and have questions or need more information, please contact Leticia Alvarez at or (805) 681-4542, or Ana Zuniga at or (805) 681-4513. 

The following is a partial list of requirements to be met prior to becoming approved as a Resource Family:

  • Complete Criminal Background Clearance
  • Resource Family Approval Training including CPR/First Aid
  • Home Environment and Psycho-Social Assessment
  • Medical examination including TB clearance
  • All household members in good physical and mental health
  • Sufficient income
  • Sufficient sleeping and living areas
  • Satisfactory personal references
  • Other requirements as requested

Before placing a child in your home, federal and state law require that you become an approved Resource Family. Child Welfare Services will help you in this process at no cost to you. There are only six steps to take on the path to becoming a Resource Family:

  1. Orientation & Application

    The first step is to complete the online RFA Orientation, and complete and electronically sign the Application. The RFA online orientation is an informative video that will give you an overview of the RFA process and the CWS system. It will help you make a decision about becoming a Resource Parent. After viewing the orientation video, you will be able to complete an application online through the Binti program. Click here to view the RFA orientation and start your application online.

  2. In-Home Meeting

    A Social Worker will schedule a time to meet with you and your family in your home. They will make sure your home passes a basic health and safety inspections and provides a suitable environment for children in the foster care system. They also will provide you with information regarding the additional requirements and training.

  3. Complete and Pass Criminal Background check

    The Social Worker will arrange for you to submit fingerprints via Live Scan and assist you with any additional information necessary to request a criminal background clearance.

  4. Training

    Attend Resource Family Approval (RFA) training. This training program will provide you with valuable information about the foster care system and what it means to be a Resource Family. The training will also include CPR and First-Aid certification.

  5. Psycho-Social Assessment

    A Social Worker will schedule an appt with you and your family to begin the Psycho-Social Assessment process. This assessment will assist in determining your readiness to provide a safe stable home environment for children in out-of home care.

  6. Approval and Placement

    Once you have completed the above steps, you will make a decision about the number, ages, and behaviors of the children that you feel you are prepared to accept into your family home. You will then receive a Resource Family Certificate of Approval. Once approved, you will be contacted by our placement specialist to discuss placement of any children who match your preferences. You will have an opportunity to review their history, ask questions, and set up a pre-placement visit. CWS will work with you to assess if the child is a good fit for your family, and any additional services available to support you in meeting the child's needs.