Fresno County Taking Applications Again For Foster Parents - Still A Backlog Due To New State Rules
Earlier this year, Fresno County stopped taking new applications for foster parents, citing a lack of resources to process them. While the county resumed taking applications this month, there’s still a backlog.
The state established new rules for all caretakers of foster kids in 2015 to eliminate the separate processes it had for foster parents, relatives and adoptive parents.
”That means that everybody is trained the same ways, held to the same standards, gets the same support, and ultimately has the same opportunities for the future,” says Tricia Gonzalez, Deputy Director with Fresno County’s Department of Social Services.
This new pathway is called Resource Family Approval, and in theory, it should take 90 days for someone to get approved. But in some cases, prospective parents were waiting six months or more, so the county stopped taking applications to catch up.
“We stopped taking apps that were for community members stepping forward for children they had not met yet,” Gonzalez clarifies. “We continued taking applications for matched homes, meaning ‘I'm stepping forward for a particular child that has entered system.’”
While the county is taking new applications again, it’s still working through a long list, and suggests prospective foster parents consider applying with outside organizations to become a resource family.
For those not yet in the system, Gonzalez says it could still take six months to a year to get approved.