Important Changes Due to the COVID-19 Virus

  • During this time, the Department of Human Services is encouraging customers to utilize online self-service options. We have shortened our hours as a result of Kern County moving to an essential-staffing only model due to the quickly changing situation related to the COVID-19 virus. 
  • While our office will be closed to the public, we will continue to provide restricted in-person homeless services only between the hours of 7:30 AM and 1:00 PM. Our main lobby located at 100 E. California Avenue, Bakersfield, will conduct in-office interviews with our homeless clients by telephone utilizing the recently installed telephones in the lobby interview booths.
  • Due to these shortened hours and social distancing regulations, we are encouraging our clients to make use of our online options. Please go to and download the mobile app to apply for and keep track of your benefits, services, and application and redetermination forms. Applications for CalFresh may be made by phone at (661) 631-6062 and applications for Medi-Cal benefits can be made by calling 1-800-300-1506.
  • If you suspect child abuse or neglect, please call the Child Abuse Hotline at (661) 631-6011 (Countywide) or (760) 375-6049 in Ridgecrest. Reports of child abuse can be made at any time.
  • Also, due to our limited service hours, we are encouraging clients to contact the EBT Customer Service line toll free at 1-877-328-9677 to report a lost, stolen, or damaged card, as well as to request a card replacement by mail.
  • Information regarding services will also be available by phone at (661) 631-6000. We want to reiterate, all critical services will be provided during our shortened hours.

Thank you for understanding.


Resource Family Approval

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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

Additional Information

View more information on becoming a Resource Parent, orientation dates, times, and location.

To reserve a space in our next orientation, please call (661) 631-6204 or email