Approved Relative Caregiver (ARC) Funding Option Program

Black and white photo of a grandparent with grandchild

As of January 1, 2015, California implemented a new optional program titled the Approved Relative Caregiver (ARC) Funding Option Program. This county-optional program provides funding for participating counties to make per-child, per-month payments to approved relative caregivers on behalf of nonfederally eligible children in an amount equal to the basic foster care rate paid to Aid to Families with Dependent Children-Foster Care (AFDC-FC) providers. Many approved relative caregivers now receive California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) funds, which are less than AFDC-FC.


Eligible relative caregivers must be approved and live in California; caregivers who are approved must meet health and safety standards that mirror those for licensed foster parents. Further, eligible children must be under the jurisdiction of the California juvenile court in a county that has opted in to the ARC Program, not be federally eligible under Title IV-E of the Social Security Act, and live in California.  More information on the ARC Program is provided in the county letters detailed below.  

CDSS Notifications Pertaining to ARC

All County Letters (ACL) 

  • ACL 15-96
    Provides information and instructions on the newly developed Notice-of-Action (NA) forms 
  • ACL 15-83
    Provides information on payment proration and clarification of income and asset eligibility 
  • ACL 14-89
    Provides child welfare program instructions
  • ACL 15-20
    Provides CalWORKs program instructions and other clarifying information

All County Information Notice (ACIN)

  • ACIN I-42-14
    Provides introductory information regarding the ARC Program

County Fiscal Letters (CFL) 

  • CFL 15-16-07
    Provides information on the ARC “true-up” 
  • CFL 15-16-24
    Provides information on state base caseload and funding amounts and allocation
  • CFL 14-15-45
    Provides information regarding data methodology
  • CFL 14-15-52
    Provides information regarding claiming methodology  

For Additional Information:

Foster Care Rates Policy Unit
744 P Street, MS 8-13-78
Sacramento, CA 95814

Contact Your County

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Foster Care Rates Policy Unit
744 P Street, MS 8-13-78
Sacramento, CA 95814

Contact Your County