COVID-19 and Resource Family Approval

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has provided guidance for operating the Resource Family Approval (RFA) program during COVID-19.  Interviews for family evaluation, including the applicants and children in the home, may be done by videoconference.

Capacity requirements for resource families or applicants may be waived if there is an immediate need for placement of additional children because of isolation or quarantine requirements. There may not be more than 6 foster children in a home unless there is an exception to the federal capacity limit.

A county may waive home and grounds requirements related to bedroom sharing and use of common areas for sleeping as necessary because of COVID-19.

If an RFA applicant cannot complete pre-approval training but has completed all other RFA requirements, the family may be approved and pre-approval training completed within 180 days of approval.

For complaints alleging behavior that serious endangers health or safety of a child in care, the county must conduct an in-person visit.  For complaints that do not pose an immediate health or safety risk, investigations may be opened and conducted by phone or video.

If a resource family has a 12-month approval update due, the family may complete it up to 180 days after the due date.

If a resource family asks to end inactive status in order to take immediate placement of a child, the county may complete the emergency placement process.  The county can extend the timeframe to get required updates to 90 days.

Counties are encourage to allow RFA applicants to submit scanned copies or photographs of documents.  If that is not available, counties may accept self-attestation of all required information.

Protocol for out of county placements is unchanged.  (ACL 20-43, April 17, 2020.)