The Resource Parent Role

Being a resource family is a special kind of job with many demands and responsibilities. Acceptance, support and nurturing are critical in working with and understanding children who are experiencing conflict and sadness after being taken from their birth families. Being a resource parent involves more than just attending to the basic needs of a child. Resource families play an important role in working with Health and Human Services staff and birth parents to reunify children with their birth family whenever safely possible. Transportation to parental visitations and medical and court appointments is often required.

Who Can Be a Resource Parent

  • Single or married
  • Stay-at-home parent(s)
  • Working parent(s) with appropriate child care
  • Healthy and energetic
  • Apartment / Condominium owner or renter
  • Homeowner or renter with adequate room

Resource Families Have Choices

Resource families make choices regarding the kinds of children (gender, age, ethnicity, background) and length of placements made in their homes. The Department is actively recruiting Resource Parents to meet the growing needs of our foster children. There is continuous need for homes to care for and love children who:

  • Need “Emergency” or short term placement - up to 21 days
  • Are Medically fragile or have specialized medical needs
  • Have severe emotional/behavioral challenges
  • Qualify for Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care (MTFC)
  • Are part of large sibling groups
  • Are pregnant or parenting teens
  • Are AB12 youth
  • Are victims of human trafficking
  • Specialized training and support will be provided, as needed

You Can Afford to be a Resource Family

Being a resource parent is a tough job and you are not expected to do it all on your own. There are several resources available to assist resource parents through their sometimes trying experiences with youth in foster care and service providers. Health and Human Services staff, including social workers, RFA staff, and the resource families recruiter/trainer are available to assist and support resource parents. Additionally, the county of Napa partners with many community agencies that offer support and guidance for caregivers interested in becoming and being a Resource Families.

Resource Families Get Support

Being a resource foster parent is a tough job and you are not expected to do it all on your own. There are several resources available to assist resource foster parents through their sometimes trying experiences with foster youth and service providers. Health and Human Services staff, including social workers, licensing personnel, and the resource foster families recruiter/trainer are available to assist and support resource foster parents. A Foster Care Ombudsman aids resource foster parents in resolving problems and concerns.

The Process

Families who wish to care for children in foster care (relatives or non-related caregivers) must go through a state regulated licensing process administered by Health and Human Services and regulated by California Code of Regulations and the California Health and Safety Codes (California Department of Social Services). The first step is to attend the Napa County Resource Family Approval orientation to learn more about our children and the RFA approval process. Becoming an approved RFA home through meeting all of the requirements, generally takes 3 months to complete. The process includes:

  • Attending orientation
  • Completing RFA application
  • Completing first aid and CPR certifications
  • Meeting home licensing certification requirements
  • Completing household fingerprinting
  • Passing child abuse and criminal background screening
  • Meeting health requirements
  • Meeting financial requirements
  • Meeting transportation requirements
  • Completing pre-placement training
  • Meeting annual home license re-certification requirements

Resource Parent Mentor Program

During your 1st year of being a resource parent, you may be paired with a more experienced resource parent who will offer guidance.

Resource Family Recruitment and Training

Resource Family parents are ordinary people who want to provide love, security and nurturance to a child in need. Out of home care may be necessary for children removed from their own family due to child abuse or neglect and services have been ordered by the court.

Child Welfare Services has an in-house resource family liaison that actively recruits and trains new/returning resource families and serves as a contact for current resource parents. The Napa County Resource Family Approval unit provides ongoing support for families to ensure an open line of communication and provide ongoing support for resource families.

Resource Family Requirements

Resource Families receive monthly foster care stipends to feed, clothe and meet the material needs of child(ren) placed in their care. Medical and dental care is provided for children in foster care through the Medi-CAL program. Resource Families can be male, female, married or single, in a domestic partnership, retired or employed, and be any age over 18 as long as their health, energy and desire are appropriate.

Resource Families provide the child(ren) with the physical and emotional care that only a family can provide. At the same time, they must be committed to reunification and work in partnership with the agency, the courts, and the birth parents.

Additional Information

Online Information is also available for interested parties to find information about: