Resource Family Approval Program (RFA) Picture of Resource Family Approval logo

RFA is a new family-friendly and child-centered caregiver approval process that combines elements of the current foster parent licensing, relative approval, and approvals for adoption and guardianship processes and replaces those processes. RFA: 

  • Is streamlined and eliminates the duplication of existing processes.
  • Unifies approval standards for all caregivers, regardless of the child’s case plan.
  • Includes a comprehensive psychosocial assessment, home environment check, and training for all families, including relatives.
  • Prepares families to better meet the needs of vulnerable children in the foster care system.
  • Allows seamless transition to permanency.

The RFA and the Quality Parenting Initiative (QPI) support the Continuum of Care Reform (CCR).
The RFA process improves the way caregivers (related and non-related) of children in foster care are approved and prepared to parent vulnerable children, whether temporarily or permanently.

The QPI, in partnership with caregivers, aims to redesign child welfare organizations at the local level to better recruit, support and retain quality foster caregivers who can effectively parent vulnerable children and youth.

Together, the RFA and QPI efforts work to build the capacity of the continuum of foster care placement options to better meet the needs of vulnerable children in home based family care. This increased capacity is essential to successfully moving children out of congregate care, which is a goal of CCR.  

All County Letters and Other Notices

  • All County Letter 18-33 Short-term, Interim Funding for Emergency Caregivers With Placement of Child(ren) and/or Non Minor Dependents (NMD) Prior to Resource Family Approval (RFA)
  • All County Letter 16-10 Resource Family Approval Program
  • All County Letter 16-58 Resource Family Approval Program-Clarifying Instructions for Statewide Implementation   
  • All County Letter 16-110 State Hearing Procedures in Processing Disputes Under the Resource Family Approval Program and the Superior Court Writ Harris V. California Department of Social Services (CDSS)
  • All County Letter 17-16 Conversion of Existing Approved And Licensed Foster Caregivers to Resource Families
  • All County Letter 17-39 Licensing Administrative Action Records System (LAARS) Access Change and Requirements for Use Related to Resource Family Approval (RFA)
  • All County Letter 18-02 Resource Family Approval Program – Conversion Of Licensed Foster Family Homes (FFH) And Certified Family Homes (CFH) That Provided Respite Services In 2017
  • All County Information Notice I-01-18 Out-Of-County Emergency Placement Assessment And Resource Family Approval (RFA) Protocol
  • Provider Information Notice (PIN) 16-03-CRP: Resource Family Approval (RFA) Foster Family Agencies (FFAs) Background Check Assessment
  • Provider Information Notice (PIN) 17-02-CRP: County Resource Family Approval (RFA) LIS Check Instructions
  • Provider Information Notice (PIN) 17-03-CRP: Resource Family Approval Program - Conversion of Certified Family Homes to Resource Families
  • Provider Information Notice (PIN) 17-13-CRP: Resource Family Approval - Background Checks (Criminal Record Clearances, Exemptions, CACI Checks)
  • Written Directives

    The CDSS has issued Written Directives and forms to implement the RFA program. The Written Directives contain the written processes, standards, and requirements for the RFA program. The Written Directives have the same force and effect as regulations and ensure that counties use the same standards.

      RFA Program Implementation Process

    RFA Resources

    Statewide RFA Technical Assistance Calls

    Contact Us

    Resource Family Approval Program Unit

    CCR Branch Line (916) 651-1101

    Kendra Elmendorf, Manager
    RFA Implementation Unit    
    Continuum of Care Reform Branch 
    California Department of Social Services
    744 P Street, MS 9-14-46
    Sacramento, CA 95814

    Wendy Cook, Manager
    RFA Technical Assistance Unit    
    Continuum of Care Reform Branch 
    California Department of Social Services
    744 P Street, MS 9-14-46
    Sacramento, CA 95814

    Dora Hesia, Manager
    County Foster Family Home
    and Resource Family Approval Programs    
    Community Care Licensing Division   
    California Department of Social Services
    744 P Street, MS 9-15-54 
    Sacramento, CA 95814

    Quick Links

    RFA Forms 
    Technical Assistance Resource Family Approval (TARFA) Meeting Schedule


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