Resource Family Approval and CANS Assessments Budget Memo
The California State Association of Counties (CSAC) and County Welfare Directors Association of California (CWDA) oppose the proposed cut to county child welfare agencies for the implementation of the state-mandated Resource Family Approval (RFA) process. We urge you to restore $24.4 million State General Fund (SGF) so that county child welfare agencies may continue to expeditiously approve resource families to care for children and youth in the foster care system due to abuse, neglect and exploitation. We also urge consideration of budget or trailer bill language related to the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) Assessment.
The goals of RFA align with, and support, CCR’s vision of placing foster children into home-based settings with loving family caregivers. Counties have seen positive outcomes in the short time that RFA has been in effect statewide (since January 2017). For example, the training that all resource parents receive, especially relatives, has helped them feel more prepared and have a better understanding of the needs of the children and youth in their care. RFA allows relatives to foster other, non-related foster children, and many have opted to open their hearts and their homes to additional foster children served by both the child welfare and probation agencies.