Foster Care

Are you willing to do what it takes to be a foster parent?

What is Foster Care?

  • Foster care is temporary, out-of-home care for children that have been removed from their birth families due to abuse or neglect.
  • Some of the reasons children may be removed from their birth families include:
    • Physical abuse
    • Neglect
    • Abandonment
    • Sexual abuse
    • Parental drug problems
    • Parental alcohol problems

Understandably, children are often afraid, angry, confused, and heart-broken from the events that led to removal from their birth families.

Some foster children have special emotional, behavioral, physical, or developmental needs.

Foster parents must be able to work cooperatively with:

  • Foster children
  • Birth family members, including parents and relatives
  • Teachers
  • Attorneys
  • Social workers and other agency officials
  • Doctors and other medical professionals
  • Mental health professional

Foster parents do not replace a child's birth family, but foster parents do assume many of the roles of the child's parents and must provide for the child's needs beyond food and shelter while the child is in their home.

In addition to food, shelter, medical care, education, and safety, foster children need:

  • Support
  • Encouragement
  • Reassurance
  • Self-esteem
  • Self-worth
  • Security
  • Structure
  • Love

Learn about the Seven steps involved in becoming a foster parent with Orange County.

Foster Parenting Requirements

The State of California, Community Care Licensing (CCL), sets and monitors the requirements and regulations for foster care licensing.

Who can become foster and adoptive parents?

  • People who are single or part of a couple.
  • People who own or rent their homes or apartments.
  • People who have sufficient income to meet their own expenses and financial obligations.
  • People who are over 18 years of age.
  • People who are willing and able to care for children

Learn more about the licensing requirements.

Financial assistance is available for all dependent children placed in out-of-home care and is:

  • Based on established rates of payment.
  • Intended to help pay for such things as the child’s:
    • Food
    • Clothing and personal needs
    • Transportation
    • Entertainment
    • Shelter
Medical Coverage for foster children:

Dependent children in out-of-home care receive medical coverage under Orange County's CalOPTIMA Managed Care System.

Interested?

Foster parents play a vital role in nurturing and caring for our community’s most vulnerable children and the rewards of foster parenting are immeasurable.

Today, foster parents are needed in every city throughout the county. If you would like to experience the joys of making a meaningful difference in the life of a child, then foster parenting is for you.

Please join us in building and supporting stronger families by learning more about becoming a foster parent!

Learn about the different foster care programs available.

Contact Information

For more information, please call (888) 871-KIDS, (1-888-871-5437), or e-mail oc4kids@ssa.ocgov.com.

Visit our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page to learn more.