You know me

“I am a first-generation college student on my way to earning an advanced degree.”


You know me

“I am the little girl in the elementary classroom with your grandchild who is excited about learning.”


You know me

“I'm the soccer player on your nephew's team. And I'm really good at it too.”


You know me

“I am the young person at your place of worship who helps collect the offering during service.”


Yes, you do know them.

Children, youth, and young adults in foster care are no different than the children, youth, and young adults in our families and communities who are all very familiar to us


The only difference is they need a little more support while their families address the issues that brought them to the attention of the foster care system.

Alameda County Social Services, Department of Children & Family Services, is responsible for assuring the safety and well-being of approximately 1,200 children, youth, and young adults who are unable to live with their birth parents, adoptive parents, or legal guardians due to child abuse and/or neglect. Our primary goal is to reunify children and youth with their families when it is safe to do so. When that is not possible, we make every effort to find a “forever family” for them through adoption or legal guardianship.

With young adults, our primary goal is to support their successful transition into adulthood by establishing lifelong adult connections that support their growth in the areas of education, employment, stable housing as well as overall well-being.



Homes Available


Homes Needed
Asset 24@2x


Children/Youth/Young Adults in Care

About Us

Alameda County is diverse in its residents and cultures and the services we offer should reflect that richness. It is our responsibility to nurture and support a caregiving community that reflects that diversity and offers children, youth and young adults home environments that support their healthy development into productive members of our community. We are ecstatic to partner with you in our efforts and are eager to work with you in the process of becoming a Resource Parent!

Michelle Love

Assistant Agency Director

Department of Children and Family Services

What are Resource Parents and Resource Families?

When children and youth are not able to live with their birth parents, adoptive parents, or guardians due to child abuse and/or neglect, foster care systems depend greatly on family members, friends of the family and community members to provide them with safe, nurturing and stable homes. It is our first priority to support our families so their children and youth return home. Our caregiving community supports these efforts by working closely with the Department to assure that children and youth receive supportive services as well as visits with their families.


Resource Parents/Families

  • Are the new terms California uses to describe caregivers that provide safe, nurturing and loving homes to children, youth, and young adults that must live temporarily in out of home care.
  • Are able to foster or adopt children, youth, and young adults in foster care.
  • Can be of different religious and spiritual beliefs, undocumented and their primary language does not have to be English.
  • Include individuals, couples, and families across our wide cultural spectrum.
  • May be related to the child, youth, or young adult, have a familiar or mentoring relationship with the child, youth, or young adult or have no previous relationship with the child, youth. or young adult.
  • Can be single, married, divorced, separated, parents, a person without parenting experience, young, older, cisgender, lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, queer and questioning, home owners, renters, employed, unemployed, of various educational attainment, and different socioeconomic status.

Resource Parents and Resource Families are as diverse as our community. YOU can become a Resource Parent/Resource Family, too!


Alameda County Social Services Agency, Department of Children & Family Services, is here to provide the training, resources, and support to our Resource Parents along their unique journey.   

Always room for love

Becoming a Resource Parent promises to be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life! Making the commitment to establish and nurture healthy and supportive relationships with children, youth, and young adults who have experienced some sort of trauma requires great effort and patience with the potential of having a lifelong, lasting impact on their lives. The ability to demonstrate care and day-to-day love in a parenting relationship is what all children, youth, and young adults need. The idea that there is always room for love is part of the foundation of healthy parenting.

A lifelong committment

Alameda County Social Services Agency, Department of Children & Family Services is committed to providing Resource Parents with the support and training needed to care for children, youth, and young adults in out-of-home care. In collaboration with Chabot Community College District, we provide all Resource Parents with comprehensive training that covers a variety of topics related to caring for children, youth, and young adults who have experienced some sort of trauma. All applicants to become Resource Caregivers are required to attend 12.5 hours of Resource Family Approval (RFA) Pre-Approval Training. The training introduces Resource Family applicants to the concepts of providing safety, permanence and well-being for children, youth, and young adults in foster care. 

Training topics include but are not limited to:

  • Overview of foster care systems, effects of trauma, grief and loss
  • Child abuse and neglect and domestic violence on child development and behavior
  • Cultural needs of children, youth and young adults across ethnic and racial backgrounds including children, youth or young adults that identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender
  • Child and adolescent development including sexual orientation, gender identity and expression
  • Options for permanency and the role of the Resource Caregiver in working cooperatively with the Department, birth family, adoptive family and supportive partners and reasonable and prudent parent standard.

Requirements to Become a Resource Parent

Once you have decided to move forward with becoming a Resource Parent, you could progress through the RFA process within a few months! Here’s what needs to happen:

  • Attend an RFA Caregiver Orientation
  • Submit an RFA Application
  • Complete a background check for all adults in the home
  • Submit proof of identification, Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) report, verification of income, verification of residence, health questionnaire and two character references
  • Have your home inspected to ensure it is safe
  • Complete the 12.5 hour RFA Pre-Approval Training
  • Receive certification in CPR/First Aid
  • Participate in a Family Evaluation that includes all children and adults in your home

Following your approval as a Resource Family, the Department provides you with ongoing assistance by way of support groups, specialized training that is required annually, and your first year of membership in the Alameda County Foster Parent Association.

Who can be a Resource Parent?

Resource Parents, who reflect the diversity in Alameda County and throughout the state of California, can be:

  • Single, married, divorced or separated
  • Young or older
  • Lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) or transitioning
  • Of different religious and spiritual beliefs
  • Undocumented
  • Comfortable with another language other than English as their primary language
  • A renter
  • A home owner
  • Working full time
  • Retired
  • Unemployed
  • Receiving public benefits
  • Not a parent
  • Interested in fostering only
  • Interested in adopting

If this does not describe you, please give us a call at Recruitment Hotline (510) 259-3575. Our Resource Caregivers are unique in every way and we are happy to discuss any questions you may have about being a Resource Parent.

Download our LGBTQ Youth Policy (PDF)

Resource Family Approval

The state of California mandated January 1, 2017 that all counties utilize the RFA process to approve all caregivers interested in providing care for children, youth, and young adults in the foster care and juvenile probation systems that are in need of an out-of-home placement. RFA assures all substitute caregivers (i.e., relatives, friends of the family, and community members) are identified as “Resource Families” and receive the same information, training, and opportunities for support. RFA is intended to focus on lifelong relationships for our clients, achieve positive results for children, youth, young adults and families and to improve efficiency. There are requirements for approval through the RFA process, which you can view here.

You will have a Department staff person assigned to support you every step of the way, and to answer any questions or concerns you may have. There is no need to be discouraged or overwhelmed with the requirements! We are committed to assisting you through the RFA process and look forward to partnering with you in the future.

Reach out to learn more

We are excited for your interest in becoming a Resource Family and welcome your questions by calling our Recruitment Hotline at (510) 259-3575. Be sure to leave your contact information so that one of our enthusiastic staff members can return your call within 48 business hours. You can also complete and submit our contact form and we will connect with you within the next 48 business hours. 


Contact Us

For information on resource parenting or adoption, contact: Alameda County Adoption and Foster Care Hotline at: 510-259-3575

Or fill out the contact form and you will receive a Resource Parent Interest Packet.

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