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FAQ’s.

Did you Know

California has passed legislation to reform the recruitment of Foster and Adoptive parents. This new process is referred to Resource Family Approval.   Stay tuned for updates as the application process is updated for Foster and Adoptive families.

For an Overview click the link below:

RFA Overview

Foster Families

Adoptive Families

Foster Families

Who are the children?
Hundreds of children in Monterey County’s foster care system require temporary out-of-home care because of parental neglect, abuse or exploitation. The largest percentage are Latino children. Some stay in foster care for weeks, some for years. The children are of all ages and varying needs.

What is the role of a foster parent?
Foster parents provide a supportive and stable family for children who cannot live with their birth parents until family problems are resolved. In most cases, foster parents work with social services staff to reunite the child with his/her birth parents or to place the child with an adoptive famly.

How do I become a foster parent?
There are several steps to becoming a licensed foster home. The first step is to attend an information meeting. See calendar for information meeting dates and times. Pre-service training is provided at no cost to prospective foster families. A license is required to operate a foster home. The process requires a licensing worker to visit your home and meet with you and other family members. Minimum personal, safety and space requirements are required by law. Foster parents work with social services staff to determine the type of child best suited for their home (i.e., age, health issues, and gender).

Who becomes a foster parent?
There is no discrimination based on race, age, gender or sexual orientation. Monterey County welcomes all individuals/families interested in foster care to attend an information meeting. See calendar for information meeting dates and times.

What if my foster child gets sick?
Medical and dental coverage is provided through the Medi-Cal program.

Can I still work?
For working parents, appropriate child care arrangements must be made by the foster parents. Foster parents are expected to provide or arrange for transportation for their foster child to and from required appointments (e.g., therapy, visits, etc.).

Are there age limits?
Age requirements are flexible as long as your health, energy and desire are appropriate. Retired foster parents are also needed.

Can I afford to do this?
Foster parents receive a monthly stipend to feed, clothe and meet the material needs of the children placed in their care.

Adoptive Families

How do I become an adoptive parent?
The first step is to attend an Information Meeting. After submitting an application to the Department of Social Services and participating in the licensing process, applicants attend a 24-27 hour foster and adoptive parent training series. A social worker will complete an assessment of your family and home. You may move forward in the licensing process for foster care and/or the Department will assign a social worker to discuss the adoption process, the type of child you wish to adopt, and the availability of children. You will need to participate in a ‘family assessment’ in which you provide information about your family and why you want to adopt. Also a social worker will assess your home for safety. The social worker will be available to answer all your questions and guide you through the process.

How much does it cost?
There may be incidental costs such as Infant Child CPR/First Aid and medical check-ups depending on your individual situation. Fees charged by private agencies normally range from several hundred to several thousand dollars. Because this program is public funded, fees are very limited and reasonable.

How long will it take to adopt a child?
The time until placement of a child may range from four to twelve months. A child will need to be in your home for at least 6 months before an adoption is finalized.

Can single people adopt?
Stable adults who possess the qualities needed to love and care for a child is what is most important. Adoptive parents are single; married; in a committed relationship; of child bearing age or older and in good health; working, with appropriate child care arrangements or staying at home.

Do I have to own my own home?
No. You can rent or lease a house or apartment. You just need to notify your landlord of your intent to adopt a child.

Can I adopt my foster child?
Foster Parents may be considered for adoption when a child cannot be returned to his/her birth parents. Most adoptive placements at Monterey County Department of Social Services start in foster care. When a child is placed in foster care, the social worker and the foster parent work towards reuniting a child with their family while at the same time exploring other permanent placement options. This ‘Concurrent Planning Process’ helps prevent a child from moving from place to place until the best decision can be made. As a foster parent seeking to adopt your foster child you will need to keep an open mind about where the child will finally be placed. Relatives and other adults who are close to the child can also be considered for adoption by contacting the child’s social worker.

How long is the waiting list?
Our agency believes in finding the best possible family for every child and families are selected on their ability to meet the needs of the child in question.

What is Adoption Assistance?
The Adoption Assistance Program (AAP) provides needed financial and medical assistance to families who are willing and able to assume parental responsibility for eligible foster children. Anyone can apply for AAP regardless of income.

Does Family and Children’s Services provide post adoption services?
Our commitment to our adoptive families extends after the adoption. We assist families in finding services they may need such as counseling and special medical treatment.