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Foster Care and Adoptive Resource Families Recruitment and Training

The mission of the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) is to serve aid and protect needy and vulnerable children and adults in ways that strengthen and preserve families, encourage personal responsibility and foster independence. To that end, the CDSS is providing this webpage to allow prospective resource families to quickly access information about foster and adoptive parent recruitment processes. On this page you will find information about public and private foster and adoption agency services, a list of training resources for current foster and adoptive parents, and a link to county information about adoption and becoming a foster parent.

Foster Care


  • Adoptive Resource Families
    This website includes basic information on adoption services, a link to adoption district offices, an online search to find a licensed California adoption agency, a printable directory of California adoption agencies.

Public and Private Foster Care and Adoption Agencies

  • California Alliance of Children and Family Services
    The California Alliance of Child and Family Services is a statewide association of children and family service agencies.
  • California Association of Adoption Agencies  (link removed)
    The California Association of Adoption Agencies is a professional organization that represents both county and private adoption agencies.

Recruitment Resource Websites

  • Adopt Us Kids
    The Adopt-Us-Kids website lists recruitment resource guides and toolkits for children in foster care eligible for adoption nationwide.
  • California Kids Connection
    Search for an adoptive child or find an adoption agency. 
  • Family Builders
    Both adoption and foster care information can be found on this website.
  • Latino Family Institute (LFI)
    LFI is a fully licensed non-profit Adoption, Foster Care and Family Support Agency specializing in recruitment of Latino resource families in Southern California.
  • Wendy's Wonderful Kids
    This is a link provided by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption concerning a five-year study of Wendy's Wonderful Kids adoption process for your information.

Training Resource Websites

Promising Practices

  • Diligent Recruitment of Families for Children in the Foster Care System (Santa Cruz County) 
    Santa Cruz County (2008) and Los Angeles County (2010) have been awarded a five-year grant from the Federal Government to develop practices on recruiting resource families, including kinship, foster, and adoptive families for children and youth served by public social services agencies. The goal is to foster a child until he/she can safely return home or release the child for adoption to insure a permanent connection outside of foster care. 
  • Santa Cruz County Roots & Wings Presentation
  • The Quality Parenting Initiative (QPI), California 

    The goal of the QPI is to develop a statewide approach to recruiting and retaining high quality caregivers for children and youth in foster care. QPI was initiated in Florida and currently several Community Based Care demonstration sites are involved in the initiative.

    In California, between the years of 2009 and 2011, a total of nine counties participated in a QPI pilot project. They included Fresno, San Luis Obispo, Santa Clara, Sonoma, Humboldt, Kern, Santa Barbara, Nevada, and Ventura counties. All participating counties were required to attend trainings on the QPI processes, including how to “rebrand” the term foster care. Rebranding meant how to change the way the public and perspective foster parents viewed the term. This was necessary because it was believed that, over time, the current foster parent “brand” had become seriously damaged.

    Each county came up with a new brand statement about what it valued in quality foster parents and the program changes that were necessary to support them.

    In order to create an effective foster care brand and to make the necessary changes in county recruitment and retention policies to attract quality foster parents, each county-sponsored team, consisting of county social services agency staff, foster parents, birth parents, emancipated foster youth, and community partner, participated in the trainings. After training, each county developed an Action Plan to implement the identified program changes. The following link outlines each county’s Action Plan and what it endeavored to change.
  • California QPI Sites Action Plans (April, 2011)

For Additional Information: 

Foster Caregiver Policy and Support Unit
Child and Youth Permanency Branch
744 P Street, MS 8-13-78
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 651-7465