Foster Care & Adoption

Resource Families, we are here for you.

Foster &
Adoption

Resource Families, we are here for you.

  • GET STARTED: If you would like more information, or apply to become a resource family, click here
  • Resource Parent Information:
    click here

We’re smiling underneath our masks.

TLC follows all safety protocols as mandated by the County of Sonoma

Our Adoption Support Services program is partially funded by a grant from the County of Sonoma Department of Human Services

TLC now has a foster/adoption HUB for families. Everything you need is under one roof.
Reach out and drop by!

4861 Old Redwood Highway
Santa Rosa, CA. 95403

We are open 9am – 4pm Monday through Friday

Phone: (707) 634-9935

Email: dtaniguchi@tlc4kids.org

We’re open from 9am – 4pm
and are here to help you and
your family thrive.

In Sonoma County alone, there are 50+ children each day who need homes, sometimes for a few days and sometimes forever. Most just need a temporary haven while their parents get help coping with the issues that created an unstable home. Some may eventually need a new forever family.

Our mission is to help you help children in need by becoming a resource parent (foster parent). We welcome single adults, couples, empty-nesters, renters, homeowners, self-employed, and retirees. Our agency and staff fully support and have a national Innovator Seal exhibiting excellence working specifically with the LGBTQI community and people from all backgrounds.

How children are treated in our community will shape their lives. We need to show them kindness and give them hope in their futures. By caring for a local foster child, resource parents enrich not only the child’s life, but their own.

Consider becoming a Resource Parent

Would You be a Good Resource Parent?

If you care about children and you’re reading this, the likely answer is: Yes!

Resource Parents Don’t Need to be “Perfect”

They do need to be loving, patient, flexible and willing to help children cope with tough times.

They also need the willingness to be part of a team with important people in the child’s life, including the birth parents, allowing each to have a voice. If this sounds like you, learn more about becoming a resource parent by calling (707) 634-9058 to talk with our caring professional staff about how you can give the gift of family to a child in need.

Every day, children and teens are waiting for homes. Please contact us today.

There are many ways you can welcome a child into your home

Emergency Resource Parent

When Child Protective Services determines that a child is not safe in their current home, an EFH (emergency foster home) is needed immediately. Little is known about the child or the circumstances when children first come into care. What is known, is that they need a safe loving home and caring adults to help them heal.

Resource Parent

Children need a safe home while their biological family is given the opportunity to remedy the life circumstances that led to the child’s removal. Your home can be a haven. If a child is not sent home or placed with a relative quickly, they will need a longer term home. Once the crisis is over and the home is safe, children and parents will be reunited. When this isn’t possible, children may remain in a qualified foster home or with a foster to adoption family.

Foster / Adopt Forever Family

The goal of concurrent placement is for a child to have as few placements as possible, so a plan is made for the resource family to become the child’s forever family if reunification with the biological family is not possible. Our program helps place foster children from birth to 21 years of age in foster to adoption homes. It’s all about moments, and you can be there for all the important ones. Building a family is a rewarding experience, and adopting a child is a beautiful way to do it.

Intensive Services Foster Care (ISFC)

Some children and teens qualify for extra support services to help them address challenging behaviors. ISFC families are provided more intensive training, case management and support from the TLC team as well as an increased monthly stipend. 

Adoption Support Services

Once you’ve adopted, you become part of TLC’s forever family too.
TLC has a clubhouse for you and your kids to come and take classes, learn about training and support services, get referrals and have experts and friends to talk with — to help you get through rough patches and celebrate the good times!

 

FAMILY SUPPORT GROUPS

Our Parent Support & Education Group meets every 3rd Thursday of the month, from 6:30 – 8:00pm. If you’re looking for a place to share, learn and come together with other adoptive parents, please join other Sonoma County adoptive families for this supportive and informative group.

A concurrent Children’s Social Group is also offered during the parent support group. Children come together to play and share and experience the opportunity to be with other adopted children. This group is currently on hold due to the Covid restrictions.

Whether you come to listen, talk, ask questions, reflect or connect, this is a time for you. We welcome you to attend one, several, or all of the groups.
This group is meeting via Zoom during the current shelter in place.

 

TLC Family Nights are held on the fourth Friday of each month.
All TLC families are invited to dinner and are then welcome to take part in either a support group or an educational workshop. Play care is available for the children. Support Groups and Trainings are being held via Zoom during the current shelter in place.

Trainings for Parents and Professionals

Our trainings are led by highly skilled professionals who are experts in loss and attachment issues in adoption, the impacts of early trauma, child development, neuropsychology and more. Currently, we are connecting clients with a variety of online trainings and webinars while sheltering in place.

Information and referrals to community resources, therapists and educational consultants

Navigating the appropriate, available support services can be a difficult and overwhelming experience. We help families formed by adoption find, explore and choose information and services to address their needs. Furthermore, TLC maintains an ongoing, vetted list of adoption competent therapists, evaluators and educational consultants.

Parent consultations and advocacy

Parent Consultations include individual parent sessions with a Social Worker in a variety of settings: telephone calls, Zoom meetings and in office meetings when deemed safe. These sessions provide adoptive parents with hands-on, practical tools for parenting challenges; alternative perspectives around family situations and dynamics and/or helping parents achieve specific parenting goals. Parent Consultations can also include advocacy in the area of education such as supporting a child’s IEP (Individualized Education Program) and/or ensuring that a child receives specific services. 

Adoption Lifebook Group

An adoption Lifebook is a handmade or digital scrapbook that narrates and illustrates a child’s unique life story from birth through adoption. Lifebooks can be a powerful tool for adoptive families to foster healing, acceptance and attachment. They serve to help children maintain connections with their past and promote a positive sense of personal identity and history. We offer 10-session Lifebook workshops facilitated by an adoptive parent trained in this creative process.

Community events and outings

Events and outings such as picnics and bowling parties provide popular and appreciated opportunities for families formed by adoption to get to know one another in casual, interactive and non-therapeutic settings. It’s our goal to help build and support community between adoptive families.

For information or to register for Adoption Support Services programs, please contact Robin Ratner at (707) 634-9064 or rratner@tlc4kids.org

Reach out and drop by! 4861 Old Redwood Highway, Santa Rosa.
We are open from 9am – 4pm and are here to help you and your adopted family thrive.

FAQ

What is the difference between a foster family and a resource family?
The terms are interchangeable. The official name of resource family was established in 2017 to include the process of being able to adopt a child in your care, without having to do an additional adoption home study.
What does a resource parent do?

Being a resource parent is a way to make a positive impact on a child’s life. Resource parents provide a safe, loving, nurturing temporary home for children unable to stay safely with their families. As a resource parent, you will become a member of a team that is working to ensure each child’s well-being. The team typically includes the child’s family, the resource family, social workers and other professionals, the court and the child.

How do I know if being a resource parent is right for me and my family?
  • Do you have the time, patience and energy to care for a foster child?
  • Can you love and care for a child who has come from a different background than yours?
  • Can you help a child develop a sense of belonging in your home even though the stay may be temporary?
  • Can you love a child who, because of fear of rejection, may not easily love you back?
  • Can you be flexible in your parenting style to meet the needs of each child? Can you set clear limits and be both firm and understanding in your discipline?
  • Can you accept assistance and guidance from the team involved in each child’s life including social workers, attorneys, medical professionals, and the birth family?
  • Can you maintain a positive attitude toward a child’s parents, even though many of the problems the child experiences are a result of the parent’s actions?
  • Are you willing and able to take a child to counseling sessions, doctor’s appointments, visits with family, court hearings and other regular appointments?
  • Can you advocate for a child and participate as a part of their support team?
  • Can you commit to a child with all your heart and then let go knowing that the investment you’ve made in their life is priceless?

If you can say “yes” or “probably” to these questions, you may be that special person who can change the life of a child in need.

What is the resource parent's role?

Resource parents provide a supportive, stable family and home. They truly care about the children and youth and help them heal from trauma and loss. Resource parents are part of the child’s team, along with social workers, the child’s family, attorneys, medical personnel and other professionals. The goal of foster care is to reunite children and birth parents if this can be done safely. Most foster children have supervised or unsupervised visits regularly with their parents while in care. Resource parents have the time and transportation to bring the child to these visits. Resource parents frequently become mentors, helping birth parents learn to safely care for their children. We hope the resource family and birth family can work together for the benefit of the child. If the child cannot return safely to the birth parents, resource parents help prepare the child to live with relatives or in an adoptive home. Sometimes resource parents have the opportunity to adopt their foster children.

What happens to children when they are first removed from their birth families?

Most children younger than six are taken directly to emergency foster homes. Older children and youth often go first to the county emergency shelter, the Valley of the Moon Children’s Home, before going to a foster home in the community. All children are assessed for developmental, behavioral and health concerns and treated as needed.

How long will the child stay in my home?
This varies. Some children are in care for a few days before returning to their birth parents or going to live with relatives. Some are reunited with their birth parents after a few months, a year or more. Children and youth who cannot safely return home may become eligible for adoption. If an adoptive home is not found, children may remain in a foster home for a longer period of time.
What if I want to adopt a child?

It takes time to know if a child moved from an unsafe home will be unable to return. While working to reunite the child and birth family, the social worker makes an alternative plan for the child if reunification is not possible. The preferred plans mean the child will live with relatives, be adopted or live with a legal guardian. Resource parents may be considered for a child’s adoption or other alternative permanent plan. Most adoptive families serve first as a child’s resource family.

How long will I wait before a child comes to live with me?

Some resource parents have a child placed in their home immediately upon becoming certified, while others may wait for a placement that is a good match. There are several criteria for what makes a good resource family match, including whether the resource parents speak Spanish or can care for special needs children, older children and teens and sibling groups.

May I choose the child I want?

Resource families may request children by age and gender based on who would be the best match for their situation. Those preferences are taken into consideration when matching children and resource families. The social worker will discuss the child’s situation with the resource family first.

Will I get to meet the child before he/she comes to live with me?

Emergency resource families take children in immediately, so do not meet the child ahead of time. In other cases, the family can visit with the child a few times before placement. These visits make the transition to the foster home easier for everyone.

Will the birth parents know where I live?

No. We do not give resource parents’ full names and address information to birth parents. Resource families can choose to share this information if a relationship develops with the birth parents.

Do I need to be married to be a resource parent? Can I be divorced and be a resource parent?

Loving families are diverse. Resource parents may be single, married, same sex couples, gay or lesbian or unmarried couples in stable, long-term relationships. If you are undergoing a major transition in your life, such as a separation or divorce, it’s best to wait to become a resource parent until you are better able to provide consistency, security and stability for a child.

What about if I rent my home?

Resource parents can live in rented houses and apartments. Landlords or property owners must agree to your plan to have children in the home.

Am I too old to be a resource parent?

Older parents in good health make good resource parents. Resource parenting can be busy and your energy needed day and night. Children may go to school or activities, medical or therapy appointments and visits with family. Young children may need attention throughout the night.

Can I be a resource parent if I work?

Yes. Some children do well in resource homes without a stay-at-home parent, while others need someone available throughout the day. If you work, a flexible schedule is helpful since resource parents must provide transportation for regular family visits, medical or counseling appointments, and other needs.

Does the child have to have her or his own bedroom?
No. Two children may share a bedroom, though each child needs his/her own bed. Children also need to have closet and drawer space for clothing and personal possessions. Although children are not permitted to share a bedroom with an adult, an exception is made for children younger than two. These children also should have a crib or bassinet.
Who pays for the child’s living expenses?

Resource parents receive a monthly payment as reimbursement for the children’s basic living expenses. The rate varies depending on the child’s age and any special needs. You must already have sufficient income to support yourself and your family.

Do foster children have medical insurance?

Yes. Some of the children are covered by their birth parent’s insurance. Most foster children qualify for Medi-Cal, which pays for most of the children’s medical, dental, counseling and other health-related expenses. Some resource parents enroll the foster child in their group insurance plan. If you are a Kaiser member, ask the business office if it will accept Medi-Cal for your foster child.

Is other support available?

Children in foster care are surrounded by caring adults. You will work with a team of social workers, medical professionals, attorneys and others to meet the needs of the children and to ensure you have the resources and support to care for them. Each child is assigned a social worker who visits regularly with the child and resource parents. The social worker is also available by phone. When appropriate, you may be referred to community resources.

May I take my foster child to church or synagogue with me?
In the majority of situations, yes. However, if a child wishes, she or he should be able to attend services for their own faith. Discuss this with the child’s social worker.
Will I ever get to see the children again?

Often resource parents do see the children after they leave their home. Sometimes resource and birth parents develop a positive relationship which continues after a child returns home. Some resource and adoptive parents remain part of each others’ lives. Some former resource parents babysit the child and attend family birthday parties. Older foster children may visit often and remain members of your family.

I know a child who I might want to live with me. What should I do?

If the child has been brought into foster care or if you suspect she or he may be abused or neglected, call county Child Protective Services. In Sonoma County, call the hotline day or night at (707) 565-4300 or (800) 870-7064.

Can I place a foster child in day care?

Yes. By law, foster children may not stay home alone, except for some teenagers and for limited periods of time. Unfortunately, funding is not available to cover child care, although foster children are often eligible for subsidized child care programs.

Why do I need to take classes before resource parenting?

The training and support helps make resource parenting a positive experience for you and your foster child. It is free of charge. Parenting a foster child is not the same as a birth child or stepchild. Most foster children and youth have been abandoned, abused or neglected and this trauma affects their emotions and behavior. Even infants are affected by their experiences, including those exposed to their mother’s substance abuse during pregnancy.

Resource parents help children manage their feelings about being separated from their families. You need to learn how to interact with the children’s birth families, and how to respond before and after children’s visits with family. The pre-service training helps you prepare for these interactions.

It also helps you understand the child welfare court process and how to access helpful community resources. You’ll meet some of the professionals you will work with, as well as experienced resource parents who can serve as mentors.

Each year after being approved by the State, resource parents also participate in eight hours of continuing education.

What safety requirements does my home have to meet?

All resource homes must meet state standards meant to ensure that they are comfortable, clean, safe, sanitary and in good repair. Resource homes must:

  • Have a working smoke detector in the hallway outside each sleeping area.
  • Secure lock up of firearms or weapons, with ammunition locked away separately.
  • Make inaccessible to children: all dangerous items and toxic substances, including all medicines, garden and workshop chemicals, automotive fluids, household chemicals and most cleansers.

How these items are kept out of the children’s reach will depend on the ages of the children you care for and their abilities. Exceptions may be made to allow teenagers to have access to certain items. If the home has young children, electrical outlets should be covered and stairs must have gates. Balcony railings and most fences may not have uncovered spaces more than four inches across between the posts. Young children must be directly supervised by a responsible adult whenever they are outside unless there is a safe and properly fenced play area. Pools, hot tubs and other bodies of water must be safely fenced, or have a locked cover, in homes for children under age 10, or if there is an older child with special needs.

If hazards or concerns are noted during a home visit, the social worker will discuss options  to ensure that your home meets safety standards. You are responsible for expenses to prepare your home. Discuss your plans with us before preparing your home for foster care.

Foster Care and Adoption Staff

  • GET STARTED: If you would like more information, or apply to become a resource family, click here
  • Resource Parent Information: click here