Foster a Child, Siblings or Teen in Northern California

Become an AFS Resource or Adoptive Parent

Since 1978, AFS has been providing foster care services to approximately 1500 youth and families annually throughout Northern California. AFS is committed to providing healing and equitable care to families, children, siblings, and teens in care. Becoming a resource parent (formerly known as foster parent) is an enormously rewarding experience that benefits you, the youth in care, and the community at large. By opening your heart and providing a loving and supportive home to a child, siblings, or teen you can change the trajectory of a youth's life.

If you are interested in becoming an approved AFS resource parent in Northern California, you can begin the application process or visit our blog post, How to Become a Resouce Parent in California. We recommend you also visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Initial AFS Resource Family Qualifications

AFS seeks individuals, couples, and families who can offer warmth and understanding to children, siblings, and teens who are in care. AFS resource parents should demonstrate patience, guidance, motivation, tolerance, understanding, flexibility, and commitment. Resource parents through AFS have excellent 24/7 support, compensation, training, and agency accountability.

AFS approved resource parents must:

  • reside in the following Northern California counties: Alameda, Butte, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Kern, Lake, Marin, Napa, Placer, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Yolo or Yuba
  • have a stable source of income sufficient to meet your family’s needs
  • provide approved adult supervision for foster youth when they are in your home
  • have a bedroom for foster youth (individual or shared with a child of the same gender and similar in age)

In instances where reunification with biological relatives is not possible, AFS provides adoption services and support to help youth find forever homes.

(800) 300-1022
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AFS offers the following foster care services:

Certification Recruitment Intake Training Adoption (CRITA)

The CRITA team at AFS works tirelessly to:

  • Recruit, train & approve individuals or couples becoming resource or adoptive parents.
  • Facilitate orientations, pre/post-service trainings home walk-throughs for new applicants.
  • Interview applicants to review the fundamentals of the resource family process.
  • Verify applicants and adults living in the home are cleared of a criminal background.
  • Write a comprehensive family evaluation assessment of all applicants.
  • Confirm resource homes are in compliance with safety guidelines


  • CA Department of Social Services Resource Family Approval Written Directives - click here
  • CA Foster Youth Rights Handbook - click here