Attend Orientation

Learn about the Resource Family Approval (RFA) process, ask questions and make an informed decision about becoming a resource parent through the County of Orange Social Services Agency (SSA). You may also explore becoming approved through a local, partner foster family agency. Call (888) 871-5437 to register for an orientation which are held monthly or for information about partner agencies. Visit our Events page for more information.


Attend Pre-Approval RFA Training

Prospective resource parents are required to attend the following pre-approval RFA trainings: Orientation, Trauma Informed Parenting (TIP), Partnering with SSA and Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI®). In addition, you will also need to complete CPR and First Aid certification (infants, children and adults). SSA offers CPR/First Aid classes at no charge.


Complete Online Application

Once the Trauma Informed Parenting (TIP) training is completed, you will receive a password via e-mail to start and finish the application online. Paper applications are available upon request. Applications must be submitted within 60 days of completing the Orientation.


Complete Home Environment Assessment & Background Checks

A RFA social worker will schedule a time to meet with you and your family in your home. They will ensure your home passes a basic safety inspection in order to provide a suitable environment for children in the foster care system. The worker will also arrange for you to submit electronic fingerprints (Live Scan) and assist you with any additional information necessary to request a criminal background clearance.


Complete Family Evaluation

A RFA social worker will schedule an appointment with you and your family to begin the Family Evaluation process. This assessment will assist in determining your readiness to provide a safe and stable home environment for children who cannot safely live with their own families. The purpose of this assessment is to discuss your family’s personal history, interests and lifestyles, childcare experiences, the types of children you feel would best fit in your home, and your strengths and skills in meeting the children’s needs.


Approval & Placement

Once you have completed the steps above, you will then receive a Resource Family Certificate of Approval. Once approved, you will be contacted by our social workers to explore potential placement of a child or children. Additional services to support you in meeting the children’s needs (such as monthly financial and medical assistance, respite care services, support groups, etc.) are available.