Foster Care

Helping To Better One Childs Life At A Time

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Becoming A Foster Parent

Are You Ready To Become A Serenity Family?

Serenity families are dedicated to caring for children and providing a supportive environment to help children prepare for reunification or adoption when reunification isn’t possible. Serenity families are diverse, coming from all backgrounds, religions, ages, genders, financial statuses, and marital statuses.

Please note that Serenity is only able to consider families in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties in California.

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Steps To Becoming A Resource Family

Foster Parents

Yes, ready!

Thank you so much for your interest in becoming a resource/foster parent!

We are excited to hear from you and look forward to answering your questions. Please take a moment to fill out the information below, and someone will be in touch with you within a few days.

    Contact Information

    General Information

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    PhoneEmail

    Talk with a Serenity representative to answer your initial questions. We will also complete a brief interview and ask you some basic questions about your household.

    Your in-home prescreen provides you with the opportunity to ask further questions about becoming a resource parent. The in-home prescreen also includes an interview with your family and a Serenity social worker to determine if we are a good fit. It usually take about 1-2 hours.

    Following your in-home orientation, you will receive an application packet with forms and instructions. Completing your application packet in a timely way helps you to become approved as a resource family more quickly. We are happy to assist you with any questions you might have about the packet.

    Fourteen hours of resource parent training over the course of a few weeks is provided to prepare you as a resource family. Training includes a class for your biological children to learn more about becoming a foster sibling. All trainings are held at Serenity. We look forward to having you join us.

    All new families are invited to attend one of Serenity’s foster parent support groups to help you get a better understanding of some of the joys and challenges of being a resource parent. At the meeting, you will also have the opportunity to meet and connect with other resource families. 

    The State of California requires that all resource families have a completed home study. The home study includes multiple meetings (3-5) with a Serenity adoption social worker. The home study is your opportunity to help us get to know your family better.

    Congratulations you are an approved Serenity resource parent. You are now able to welcome children into your home.

    Necessary Serenity Family Qualities

    Serenity will work with you every step of the way to ensure a setting where the child can grow and thrive in safety. Our goals are to provide wonderful foster families and needed resources for our children, ongoing support and resources to our foster families, and assistance to the biological parents of the children in our care.

    • Dedication to caring for children.

    • Willingness to understand the emotions and behaviors of children in foster care.

    • Commitment to ongoing training for specialized parenting strategies.
    • Sufficient income to support yourself and your family.

    • Comfortable space in your home for a child/children.
    • Live scan clearance (background check) for all adults residing in the home.
    • Support of the reunification process.

    Please note that Serenity is only able to consider families in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties in California.

    Speak With A Serenity Specialist

    Are You Ready To Become A Foster Parent?

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    Benefits & Takeaways

    Learn More About What It Takes

    Benefits of Foster Parenting

    • Provide care for a child in need

    • Assist a family in the process of reunification

    • Attend monthly support groups and network with other foster parents.

    • Monthly stipend and medical benefits to assist with the foster child’s expenses

    Foster Parenting Options

    This is a wonderful way to support resource families and foster children, and provide the time they may need to maintain a healthy family. By becoming an approved babysitter, you are available to resource parents on a regular basis to provide babysitting support

    Respite Care is an opportunity for families to support each other in a time of need. This service is utilized to help maintain the placement and allows the child’s family to have time for either self-care or family emergencies. Being a respite care family is a wonderful way to support full-time foster families, help ensure secure placements for foster children, and connect with many children while maintaining a more flexible schedule. Respite care can be provided from a few hours up to two weeks.

    As a resource parent you provide a child a safe place to live and heal while their family of origin accomplishes the goals outlined by the court. The primary goal of foster care is reunification with the child’s family of origin. Foster care serves as a bridge between brokenness and the restoration of the family unit. Some people provide foster care for a short time period, 3-6 months, while others provide care for up to a few years.

    Foster to adopt parents are families who choose to foster children while waiting for the opportunity to adopt a child from the foster care system. Should reunification with a child’s family of origin not be an option, then the resource family is offered the possibility of adoption.

    Comprehensive Services Offered to Our Families

    • Initial and ongoing training
    • Training for biological children of foster parents
    • Assistance with arrangement of respite care for foster children as needed
    • Facilitation of support group meetings
    • Three to Four visitations a month by a Serenity social worker
    • 24-hour/7 days emergency assistance
    • Inclusion in formulation of child’s treatment plan and assistance in implementation
    • Social/recreational family activities (agency picnics, holiday celebrations)
    • Positive foster parent recognition

    Resource Family Forms

    Simply Click, Download & Fill-Out Today

    Frequency Occasional Basis
    Length of time No longer than 24 consecutive hours
    8 or more hours– caregiver 21 years
    Up to 8 hours– caregiver 18 years
    Up to 4 hours– caregiver responsible 16 yr old close relative max of 2 children
    Emergency Contact
    Info From Required
    To caregiver: Yes
    To Serenity Social Worker: No
    Serenity Social Worker
    informed or approval
    required
    Informed: Yes, if care is overnight
    Approval: No
    Location of Care In or out of Resource family home
    If care is outside of
    Resource Family home
    Resource parent(s) are to ensure the home is safe and appropriate for the child, including compliance with interim Licensing Standards (ILS) requirements for bodies of water, and that the child’s personal rights will be respected.
    Caregiver Requirements Known to Resource parent as a trustworthy, kind, sensible person who would be able to care for the foster child
    Requirements if caregiver is transporting the child Resource Family is to ensure the safety of the vehicle, the driver has a valid state driver’s license, and an appropriate car seat/booster is used.
    Example: Medical appointments, grocery shopping, special occasions, adult social gatherings, or trainings.
    FORMS NEEDED: Emergency Contact Form
    Frequency Occasional Basis
    Length of time Longer than 24 hours
    Longer than 72 hours needs prior County Social Worker approval
    Caregiver must be 21 or older
    Emergency Contact
    Info From Required
    To Caregiver: Yes
    To Serenity Social Worker: Yes
    Serenity Social Worker
    informed or approval
    required
    Informed: Yes
    Approval: only if care is longer than 72 hours
    Location of Care In Resource family home or Alternative Caregiver’s home
    If care is outside of
    Resource Family home
    Resource parent(s) are to ensure the home is safe and appropriate for the child, including compliance with interim Licensing Standards (ILS) requirements for bodies of water, and that the child’s personal rights will be respected.
    Caregiver Requirements Must be 21 or older
    Criminal Record Clearance
    Completion and submission of forms below
    Requirements if caregiver is transporting the child Valid Driver’s License
    DMV Printout
    Current Auto Insurance
    An appropriate car seat/booster
    Example: The Resource Parents are attending a wedding in San Francisco. The entire trip will take approximately 30 hours.
    FORMS NEEDED: Alternative Caregiver Guidelines and Checklist
    Live scan form
    Emergency Contact form
    DMV Printout form
    Release of information form
    Intent to use notification form
    Criminal Record Statement
    Frequency Used to preserve the placement
    Length of time Up to 72 hours
    Can be extended by SW up to 14 days
    Caregiver must be 21 or older
    Emergency Contact
    Info From Required
    To Caregiver: Yes
    To Serenity Social Worker: Yes
    Location of Care Only with a Non-Related Extended Family Member (NERFM), a licensed foster or small family home, a certified foster family home, or an approved Resource Family home (Requires current certification or approval)
    If care is outside of
    Resource Family home
    Serenity or licensed agency must ensure the home is safe and appropriate for the child, including compliance with Interim Licensing Standards requirements for bodies of water, and that the child’s personal rights will be respected.
    Caregiver Requirements Must be 21 or older
    Must be a NERFM, or a Certified or Approved Resource Parent
    Submission of current certification, approval or license
    Requirements if caregiver is transporting the child Valid Driver’s License
    DMV Printout
    Vehicle Inspection
    Current Auto Insurance
    Example: The children placed in the home have major behavior concerns requiring constant supervision by the Resource Family. As a result the family is exhausted and needs a break in order to refresh and continue with the placement.
    FORMS NEEDED: Respite Guidelines and Checklist
    Emergency Contact Form
    Frequency Ongoing and Consistent
    Length of time Less than 8 hours– caregiver: 18
    More than 8 hours– caregiver: 21 or older
    Emergency Contact
    Info From Required
    To caregiver: Yes
    To Serenity Social Worker: Yes
    Serenity Social Worker
    informed or approval
    required
    Informed: Yes
    Approval: Yes
    Location of Care In or out of Resource Family home
    If care is outside of
    Resource Family home
    If the babysitter is being used on a ongoing basis for daycare (working parents) the child must be cared for in the RF’s home or Serenity must ensure the home is safe and appropriate for the child, including compliance with ILS requirements for bodies of water, and that the child’s personal rights will be respected.
    Caregiver Requirements Criminal Record Clearance
    Proof of current First Aid/CPR training
    Completion and submission of forms below
    Requirements if caregiver is transporting the child Valid Driver’s License
    DMV Printout
    Vehicle Inspection
    Current Auto Insurance
    Example: The Resource Family needs someone to watch their child after school each day or someone to babysit each Wednesday night from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. while they attend class.
    FORMS NEEDED: Emergency Contact Form
    Live Scan form
    Health Screen form
    TB form
    DMV Printout form
    Vehicle Inspection form
    Intent to use notification form
    Release of information form
    Criminal Record Statement

    Family Foster Care FAQ’s

    Frequently Asked Questions

    We hope the following Resource Family Foster Care FAQs will help you to make your decision about becoming a Resource/foster family. If you have questions that aren’t listed below, please feel free to contact our office.

    Our children are placed in foster care as a result of abuse and/or traumatic life events. Their family is in a crisis and unable to care for them. We partner with Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Orange Counties.

    Resource Family” is a new term for families that care for children who have been placed in foster care or adoption through the child welfare system. This term includes all foster parents, adoptive families, legal guardians, and relative/non-related extended family members.

    Approval time varies depending on how efficiently families turn in their paperwork, attend trainings, and complete the home study process. Unpredictable variables may prolong the approval process. An estimated range of time is 3-5 months.

    It is not necessary to own a home. Foster parents live in apartments, condominiums, mobile homes, and single family homes.

    Any child under the age of 2 years can share a room with the resource parents. After age 2, all children must be provided their own or shared room with another child.

    Two children can share a room. Exceptions can be made in order to keep siblings together. Children ages 5 or older, must share a room with a child of the same gender or gender identification.

    There is no marital status requirement for resource parents.

    Resource parents are required to be at least 21 years old. Though, exceptions will be reviewed in order to keep siblings together as long as the State required minimum age, 18, is met.

    There is no restriction on becoming a resource parent and working full-time. Many people enjoy fostering while also continuing to work a full-time job. If resource parents work outside the home, then arranging a back-up babysitter who can assist you with transporting a child to visits and other appointments is required.

    Pets can be a wonderful part of a family and a joyful part of childhood. Pets must be safe and child friendly.

    A DUI within the last 10 years disqualifies you from fostering. After 10 years, a DUI is no longer a hindrance in becoming a foster parent.

    Criminal record clearance depends on what shows in the Live Scan fingerprint record. Serenity cannot know what a record will show until the State and FBI send the results.

    No, Serenity does not provide children to be adopted through private adoptions, but can provide private adoption home studies.

    Every child and case is unique. The court aims to do what is in the best interest of the child, with family reunification being the primary goal. Serenity does not have control over a child’s adoptability.

    • Live Scan fingerprinting: estimated $90 per person, required for anyone in the home 18 years and over
    • Adult and Infant CPR and First Aid certification: Price varies per location, must be taken in person, not online
    • If you have a pool, a Water Safety class is required: estimated cost of $30 per person
    • Driver’s record from DMV: estimated cost of $5 per person
    • Yes. Here.
      Thank you so much for your interest in becoming a resource/foster parent!
      We are excited to hear from you and look forward to answering your questions.Please take a moment to fill out the information below, and someone will be in touch with you within a few days.
      YesNo
      PhoneEmail

      Thank you!
      – The Serenity Staff

    Speak With A Serenity Specialist

    Are You Ready To Become A Foster Parent?

    CONTACT US TODAY

    Resources

    Helpful Links For Parents & Children

    First5California

    FREE Kits for New Parents. Includes the Advice for New Parents DVD, Puppy and Friends touch-and-feel book, and much more. Kits are available in English, Spanish, Cantonese, Korean, Mandarin, and Vietnamese.

    American Academy of Pediatrics

    FREE Information: Health and Safety Tips, Immunization Schedules, Media and Children, Disaster Preparedness and more.

    Parent’s Place

    Patents’ Place is committed to supporting and enhancing Family focused services in a parent driven atmosphere for families who have children with special needs, 0-22 years of age. Serving the San Gabriel and Pomona valleys.

    The National Child Traumatic Stress Network

    The National Child Traumatic Stress Newwork’s mission is to raise the standard of care and improve access to services for traumatized children, their families and communities throughout the United States.

    Sesame Street in Communities

    Sesame Street has introduced a brand new character who is a foster child! They are now providing links, resources such as videos and printable activities and more about foster care and crisis on their workshop site!