What do we do:
We represent caregivers in foster care, guardianship and adoption benefits matters to ensure that they are receiving the support they need to meet the needs of the children in their care. A major focus of this program is helping families receive additional funding for children who require increased care due to medical, behavioral, and/or developmental needs. In addition, we help caregivers when DCFS does not approve their homes in a timely manner, or refuses to approve their homes at all, rendering them ineligible for foster care funding. We also help non-minor dependents (young adults in extended foster care between the ages of 18 and 21) access funding to which they are entitled.
In addition to handling individual cases, our benefits team works closely with our policy team to identify and address systemic benefits issues affecting LA County youth and caregivers.
How do we do it:
When it seems that a caregiver is not receiving the correct level of funding, our benefits team negotiates with DCFS to resolve the problem. If we cannot achieve a just resolution through negotiation, we take the claim to a hearing before an administrative law judge. All of our legal services and advocacy are provided free of charge.
Can we help you?
If you are having any problems obtaining the proper level of funding for the children in your care, and/or problems getting your home approved by DCFS, contact us to begin the intake process or call 213-368-6010.
Note on new funding: Recently, Assembly Bill 1811 and Assembly Bill 110 went into effect to address the hardships caused by Resource Family Approval (RFA). These bills provide funding to individuals caring for a child placed in their home prior to being approved as a resource family. Please reference this letter for caregivers to understand eligibility and what to expect.
An administrative fair hearing is available to anyone who is not satisfied with an action or inaction taken by the county regarding benefits. The request for a funding hearing must be filed WITHIN 90 DAYS after you receive a written Notice of Action (NOA) from the county. The request for a home approval hearing must be filed WITHIN 30 DAYS after you receive a written NOA from the county.
A request for hearing may be made in writing or orally. Oral requests are made with California Department of Social Services (CDSS) in Sacramento by calling the toll free number: 1-800-952-5253. If you are hearing or speech-impaired, you can call 1-800-952-8349.
In Los Angeles County, written requests are to be sent to:
Department of Children and Family Services
Appeal and State Hearing Section
9320 Telstar Avenue, Suite 216
El Monte, CA 91731-2816