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Foster Family Agencies

County placement agencies use licensed private Foster Family Agencies (FFAs) for the placement of children who require more intensive care as an alternative to group homes. By statute, FFAs are organized and operated on a non-profit basis and are engaged in the following activities: recruiting, certifying, and training foster parents, providing professional support to foster parents, and finding homes or other temporary or permanent placements for children who require more intensive care.

There are two types of FFA programs, "treatment foster care or therapeutic foster care," and "nontreatment foster care." An agency providing treatment service to a child has determined that the child has services needs which: cannot be provided in an available family home, would require group home placement if the child was not referred to an FFA, and can be met by the program offered by the FFA to which the child is being referred. In contrast, a FFA providing nontreatment services certifies a home for placement of a child pending the adoption of the child by that family.

The "nontreatment" FFA does not provide treatment services. It provides for a child's basic needs and may provide specialized care services in a "certified" family home if the following conditions are met: the placement agency has determined that the child has care needs greater than those of a normal foster child; and the placement county has a specialized care system. The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has statutory responsibility for developing, implementing, and maintaining a rate setting system for FFAs receiving AFDC-FC funds.

The AFDC-FC rates vary by age group. For the purpose of determining FFA rates, CDSS regulations specify the purposes, types and services of FFAs. Currently, CDSS sets AFDC-FC rates for approximately 250 FFAs. The rates are organized into five age groupings and are established according to two different rate structures. The two FFA rate structures are designed to accommodate services provided under the two program types: Treatment and Nontreatment programs.

A list of AFDC-FC FFA rates is available on the Rates Lists. Information regarding AFDC-FC FFA audits and rates is available on the Foster Care Audits and Rates Branchwebsite.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Foster Care Audits and Rates Branch
California Department of Social Services
744 P Street, M.S. 9-6-38
Sacramento, CA 95814