Resource Families Needed in Kern
In Kern County, approximately 2,000 children of all ages, diverse backgrounds, and varying needs, have been removed from their own homes because of parental neglect, abuse, or exploitation. These children require temporary foster care while Human Services works with birth parents to build parenting and life skills designed to allow children to return home safely. The Department of Human Services relies on relative and non-relative Resource Families to provide a stable and supportive family environment to the children under its care.
The Resource Parent Role
Being a Resource Family is a special kind of job with many demands and responsibilities. Acceptance, support, and nurturing are critical in caring for children who are experiencing conflict and sadness after separation from their birth families. Resource Families play an important role in working with Human Services staff and birth parents to reunify children with their birth family whenever possible. Transportation to parental visitations and medical and court appointments is often required.
You Can Be A Resource Parent If You Are
- Single or married
- Stay-at-home parent(s)
- Working parent(s) with appropriate child care
- Healthy and energetic
- Apartment/Condominium owner or renter
- Homeowner or renter with adequate room
Resource Families Have Choices
Resource Families make choices regarding the characteristics of the children (gender, age, ethnicity, background) they wish to care for and the length of placements made in their homes. The Department of Human Services is recruiting county Resource Parents to meet the growing needs of our foster children. There is continuous need for families to care for and love children who:
- Need “Emergency” or short-term placement – up to 21 days
- Are medically fragile or have specialized medical needs
- Have severe emotional/behavioral challenges
- Qualify for Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care (MTFC)
- Are part of large sibling groups
- Are pregnant or parenting teens
- Are Non-minor Dependents (youth age 18-21)
- Are victims of human trafficking
Specialized training and support will be provided, as needed.
You Can Afford to Foster
Resource Families should be financially self-sufficient. Monthly foster care benefits are provided to Resource Families to help meet a child's needs, such as food and clothing. Additional funds may be available for children with special needs.
Resource Families Get Support
Human Services staff, including social workers, Resource Family Approval (RFA) staff, and the Resource Families recruiter/trainer are available to assist and support Resource Parents. The Ombudsman aids Resource Parents in resolving problems and concerns. The Caregivers of Kern County provide additional support to their membership of Resource Parents.
The Resource Family Approval (RFA) Process
Families who wish to foster children must go through the Resource Family Approval (RFA) process.
The first step is to attend an orientation to learn more about our children and the RFA process. After orientation, an application must be completed. The RFA process takes up to 90 days.
The process includes:
- Completing first aid and CPR certifications
- Meeting home certification requirements
- Completing household fingerprinting
- Passing child abuse and criminal background screening
- Meeting health requirements
- Meeting financial requirements
- Meeting transportation requirements
- Completing pre-service training
- Meeting annual home recertification requirements
To reserve a space in our next orientation, please call (661) 631-6204 or email RFAinbox@kerndhs.com.