Foster Family Network
How to become a foster parent:
Foster Family Network (FFN) is licensed by the State of California, Community Care Licensing Division (CCL). Recognizing the need to address the increasing demand for quality foster homes for children, ChildNet established Foster Family Network. Many of these children are victims of physical, sexual and emotional abuse, neglect and/or abandonment. The program accepts boys, girls and non-minor dependents (over age 18) for placement in loving foster homes. Children are referred to FFN by county child welfare/social services agencies.
FFN recruits and trains all types of families – single parents, married couples, retirees, same-sex couples – who are willing to provide a warm, stable, nurturing environment for these children, and who can meet all certification requirements set forth by the State of California and local county placing agencies. FFN’s social-work staff provides ongoing training and support for the foster families.
Why become a foster parent with ChildNet/Foster Family Network? Here are some reasons why our program makes us stand out from the rest:
INTENSIVE SERVICES FOSTER CARE (ISFC)
ChildNet’s Intensive Services Foster Care Program (ISFC) provides specialized mental health and behavioral services to children who have suffered multiple complex traumas, multiple psychiatric hospitalizations, and multiple failed placements in the foster care system. Our Intensive Services Foster Care program utilizes the team approach to work with our youth, our foster parents and, when possible, birth families or long-term permanent family placements, to help the youth transition out of congregate living to the least restrictive environment possible. Providing individualized mental health and behavioral services in a home-based setting allows foster children to gain skills for future success in their living arrangements and preparation for successful transition into adulthood.
MENTAL HEALTH / PSYCHIATRIC SERVICES
- Evidence-based, in-house behavioral health counseling services (Los Angeles County)
- Diagnostic consultation provided by a consulting pediatric psychiatrist (Los Angeles County)
FOSTER PARENT TRAINING
- All training offered at no charge by the agency, or with reimbursement for costs incurred from outside providers
- Pre-certification training using the PRIDE model (Parent Resources for Information Development & Education)
- First Aid and CPR training
- Ongoing parenting skills instruction supplied in the home and at FFN offices
- Emphasis is on issues surrounding trauma, abuse, neglect, abandonment, child development, behavior management techniques, drug abuse awareness, helping children succeed in school, etc.
SOCIAL WORK STAFF
- Foster homes are closely supervised by skilled master’s-level social workers, on call 24/7/365
- Supportive counseling/consultation and case management are provided to the foster family as often as needed
- Home visits are conducted with consideration for the foster family’s daily schedule
- Ongoing research of and referral to community resources necessary to meet each child’s needs
- Coordination of medical, educational and psychological services
Resource Family Approval Process
ChildNet is always looking for people to make a difference in children’s lives by committing to being foster parents. Foster care provides daily care for children whose biological families are no longer able to care for them. Foster parents offer the love and nurturing environment that make children feel safe and protected.
Families are assessed in terms of their desire to parent and their likelihood of being able to tolerate the change, intrusion, and disruption that will follow the placement of a child. Key assessment factors are the degree of attention that children require, as well as what foster parents are able to give, and the realistic versus the unrealistic expectations of foster parenting. Social support systems are evaluated and informal systems of support are assessed. Finally, ChildNet families must undergo extensive training. The approval process is governed by State and County laws, policies and procedures, which include the following steps:
General Steps of Resource Family Approval Process:
- Telephone Interview: Prospective family completes a telephone interview with one of
ChildNet’s Resource Family Specialists. The prospective family is then invited to an
- Orientation: The prospective family is scheduled for an in-person orientation with a Resource
Family Specialist. After reviewing the requirements and expectations, the family is given an
initial set of documents to be completed prior to moving forward with the process. Once the
family has finalized completion of all documents, staff members thoroughly review them. If
there are no concerns, the staff will schedule an initial home walk-through.
- Walk Through: An initial walk-through is conducted to provide feedback about the home,
corrections needed as well as an additional interview with the prospective family.
- Background Checks: Each prospective family must undergo an extensive background check for all adults in the home, including DOJ, FBI, CACI, among many others. Once the background
checks are completed, the family can begin the training process.
- Training: The prospective family begins the pre-approval training process including:
- Community Care Licensing Regulations and County Contract Requirements
- Foster Parents – Guidelines, Requirements, Policies & Procedures
- Strategies for working with Abandoned, Abused and Neglected children
- Child Abuse Reporting Requirements
- Behavior Modification Techniques for use with Traumatized and At-Risk Children
- Coping Strategies for Working with Challenging Child Behaviors
- Working with Children Placed in Intensive Services Foster Care
- Cultural and Ethnic Considerations
- Working with LGBTQ Youth
- Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC)
- Family Reunification
- Infection Prevention and Control
- Trauma-Informed Parenting
- CPR and First Aid
- Family Evaluation (Home Study) Interviews: Once the prospective family has completed Steps 1 through 5, they begin an extensive home evaluation, which includes several family
interviews. All residents of the home are interviewed during this process.
- Home Environment Assessment (Home Inspection): The final step is a home environment
evaluation which includes a thorough inspection of the home, a final home evaluation and
additional review of all final documents.
- ChildNet Approval
- County Approval: Once ChildNet approves the home, the approval documents and a copy of
the home study are sent to the corresponding county for final approval. The corresponding
county performs additional background checks, including history of past allegation of child
abuse, etc. Once the county child welfare department clears the family as an approved Resource
Home, ChildNet is then authorized to place a child in the home.
Foster parenting is a hugely rewarding experience and one that brings lifelong gratification. Foster parents can improve the life of a child bringing far-reaching effects. Foster parenting is extraordinarily gratifying, but does take a big commitment.
For more information about Foster Family Network or how to become a foster parent, please call the closest office to you:
Los Angeles & Orange Counties: (800) 945-KIDS or (562) 492-9527 LAandOC@childnet.net
Inland Empire: (951) 247-6064 InlandEmpire@childnet.net
Kern County: (661) 633-1700 Kern@childnet.net