What is a Resource Parent?
Resource parents are dually prepared to foster and adopt a child. This does not mean all foster parents adopt, but if they choose to do so, the pre-adoption process is already completed via our adoption services. It also means all Children’s Bureau’s adoptive parents are foster parents to the children first. “Resource parents” is the name known by our adoption agency, other foster family agencies and the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) which has legal custody and provides protective services for children.
Foster Parenting or Family Foster Care offers a relationship with a child for a temporary period of time – a few weeks, months, or even a year or more, with the goal of helping the children reunite with their parents or with relatives. Family foster care is designed especially for children & youth who have been separated from their parents typically because they have not been able to keep them safe or suffered from child abuse and neglect. That means you would show the children what it is like to live in a safe, nurturing family. Foster parents definitely have a career in modeling! You have the opportunity to “give back” to your community, or perhaps your place of worship and fight child abuse with love and care.
Foster-Adoptive Parents offer children a family to grow up in when they are unable to return to their birth parents. Children who are adopted have the same rights and privileges of birth children. Adopting a child who comes to you from the family foster care program changes many lives with a ripple effect – abuse and neglect cycles are ceased. Opportunities for change and happiness are many for everyone involved especially the children and you.
What support does Children’s Bureau provide for our resource families?
There are many! For example, when you:
- Call to inquire about joining our team, you will be greeted by friendly and expert staff who will help you submit your application and answer your questions about the process.
- Come to an information meeting where you will be greeted by more friendly and expert staff, and an experienced resource (foster or adoptive) parent, who can answer all of your questions. For a schedule of upcoming meetings, click here.
- Participate in our “pre-service training program,” where you will have the opportunity to develop your skills to foster and foster-adopt. We are proud to offer you our “PRIDE Model of Practice” (Parent Resources for Information, Development, and Education sponsored by the nationally acclaimed Child Welfare League of America (www.cwla.org/pride-training).
- Meet with our “Family Development Specialists,” who will help you make an informed decision about whether or not you want to share your “competencies” with children who will join your family.
- Talk with our “matchers,” who will help you identify children you can most successfully and enjoyably parent.
- Consult with your Children’s Bureau social worker after children join your family, to help meet all their safety, well-being, and permanency needs.
In addition, Children’s Bureau provides financial support (monetary stipend and Medi-Cal) for care of the children who are placed with you…..and much more.
An important element in maintaining a quality foster care program is evaluating the progress our families make and determining what we can do better. We’re proud to report that foster children continue to demonstrate significant cognitive and academic progress while placed in our family foster care program over periods of time as short as six months.
Over the years, more than 5,000 individuals and couples have become resource families (foster, foster-adoptive) with Children’s Bureau. We look forward to the privilege of adding you to our professional team. Families of all ethnicities and ages—married or single, gay and lesbian (LGBT)—are welcome.
If you have been thinking about being a foster parent or an adoptive parent for some time, please do not wait any longer. Infants, children, and teens are waiting for you. So are many of their birth parents whose life circumstances have made them unable to keep their children safe. On behalf of the birth parents, Los Angeles County DCFS, and all of us at Children’s Bureau, please call us today!
What are the qualifications to be a resource parent (prepared for both fostering and adopting) with Children’s Bureau?
Individuals and families who have the willingness, ability, and resources to meet the children’s needs have what we call “Our Core Competencies” (that means “knowledge and skills”) and there are only five:
- Protect and nurture children. Children in foster care can come from difficult upbringings or situations and it’s your responsibility to help them along this difficult journey. This means keep the children safe and help them feel valued and respected.
- Meet their developmental needs. This means play with them, teach them social skills, help them go to school, learn through positive discipline, help them have a strong sense of their cultural identity, and provide medical care (which is paid for).
- Support children’s relationships with their families. This means help the children with their feelings about their birth families, whether children have some contact, no contact, or a lot of contact with them.
- Connect children to safe, nurturing relationships intended to last a lifetime. Resource families (prepared to both foster and adopt) help children transition to birth parents, relatives, or other foster-adoptive parents. Many resource parents adopt, which means you will be providing the safe, nurturing lifetime relationship, as the children you adopt grow up with you. However, please know that if you want to adopt, all children placed with resource families who want to adopt must, according to the law, be in family foster care status until after children’s parental rights are terminated.
- Be a member of a professional team. Our Children’s Bureau social workers will be consulting with you on how you will help us meet child welfare laws which require all of us to help children be safe, be well, and be connected to families where they can grow up safely and be contributing members of their communities.