Become A Foster Parent

Want To Explore Foster Parenting?

As you begin the journey to explore foster parenting, California Kids Belong will support you:

View kids in our state’s foster care system who are legally free for adoption.

Connect with other foster parents, experts and resources.

Become trauma aware and invite your support network to do the same.

Connect with Foster Friendly Community businesses, faith communities and other organizations that are committed to supporting California’s kinship and foster families.

Let’s Connect


Foster Parent Requirements In LA County

Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services is your best resource for information about becoming a kinship or foster parent in our state. But here are some key eligibility criteria. 

  • At least 18 years of age.
  • Single, married, divorced or living with a partner
  • Live in an apartment, house, and either rent or own, as long as you’re able to provide a safe home for a child
  • Be any race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or culture
  • Be working parents, with appropriate child care
  • Able to support yourself financially

Note: This link will take you to Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Service. Be sure you submitted our “Let’s Connect” form above before leaving California Kids Belong.

Two Reliable Paths To Become A Certified Foster Parent In California

In California you have two options for becoming licensed as a foster parent.

1

The first is to work through the Department of Child Services.

2

The alternative is to work with one of the approved foster family agencies (FFAs) in LA County. View approved foster family agencies.

Here is some additional insight to help you discern which is the best path for you.

Working with DCS

  • Generally speaking, local offices are responsible for recruiting, training, and supporting foster, adoptive and kinship families.
  • Case load up to 30 kids/caseworker

Working with a Private Agency

  • Agency social workers only manage 17 children at a time, which can allow for more attention / support for first-time foster parents.
  • The agencies interact with the county on your behalf, and will visit your home weekly rather than monthly. 
  • Foster family agencies (FFAs) work in partnership with LA’s Department of Child Services to recruit therapeutic foster families.
  • FFAs may be for-profit or nonprofit organizations. Their coverage areas may vary.
  • These agencies provide extra training and support for families who take in children with a higher level of need.