Caregivers must complete annual training to maintain their approval as a resource family. Is there any mechanism available if a family wants to retain their approval status, but temporarily not care for a child in foster care?

Yes. As of this year, counties and foster family agencies are allowed to place a resource family on inactive status. During this period of inactive status, a resource family is not eligible to care for a child in foster care. They are also not subject to the annual update required by Resource Family Approval (RFA).

A family must notify the county in writing regarding the reasons for inactive status, such as the birth of a child, a medical condition, or relocation. The written notification must also include the anticipated date the inactive status will end. When the family is ready to terminate its inactive status, they must provide the county with thirty (30) calendar days written notice. That family will then have to complete their annual update in order to care for a child in foster care. A period of inactive status is limited to two years.

A situation may arise where a child comes into foster care and the relative or non-related extended family member who would like to care for that child is on inactive status. If this is the case, a child can be placed with them on an emergency basis even if they are on inactive status. If this situation arises, the family will be expected to complete an annual update within thirty (30) calendar days of the placement, unless good cause exists.

CITATIONS: Health & Safety Code section 1517.4Welf. and Inst. Code section 16519.56RFA Written Directives, Version 5, Section 10-02.

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