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Foster Care Program

Foster Care Program

Resources | Benefits | Placement Grievance Hearings | Children’s Services

We are here to provide resource support and access to resources for foster parents, or resource parents, who need financial/medical assistance and training to care for a child. Resources are also available to support children in foster care, including those transitioning out of foster care to living independently.

Interested in fostering or adopting a child? Become a Resource Family. Call 1-800-665-KIDS (5437).


    Foster/Adoptive Parent Resources


    Eligible resource parents may receive a child-care voucher for a limited time to help cover child-care costs for foster children, birth through age 5, and their siblings. This includes foster children up to age 21 with exceptional needs and severe disabilities. Vouchers are approved initially for up to six months, with a possible six-month extension. A social service practitioner can refer resource/foster families to the Foster Bridge Program.

    Foster Bridge Program

    We partner with the Riverside County Office of Education to provide the Emergency Child Care Bridge Program for Foster Children. The program is time-limited and designed to increase the number of foster children successfully placed in home-based family care settings. It’s also designed to increase capacity of child-care programs to meet the needs of foster children in their care and provide maximum funding to eligible families to support child-care needs. Click below for a look at the components of the Foster Bridge Program.

    • Navigator
      Resource parents can receive help finding a child-care provider and securing a subsidized child-care placement. Help is also available to complete child-care program applications and develop a plan to transition to long-term child-care appropriate to the child’s age and needs.
    • Trauma Informed
      We offer trauma-informed care training and coaching to child-care programs that are part of the Foster Bridge Program. Training topics include infant and toddler development, trauma-informed best practices and strategies for working with children in foster care who have experienced trauma. For more information speak with a social services practitioner by calling (888) 934-5437 or email [email protected]

    Resource parents who need ongoing guidance, support and questions answered will find several available resources.

    Foster Parent College

    Potential and current resource parents will find affordable, interactive and self-paced training courses that help them meet licensing requirements at®

    Foster Care Offices

    These offices provide help understanding the foster care system and assistance with child-care.

    West Corridor (Riverside) – (951) 358-3700
    Metro (Riverside) – (951) 358-4000
    Valley (Moreno Valley/ Perris) – (951) 413-5000
    Non Relative Legal Guardianship – (951) 358-4000
    Southwest (Lake Elsinore) – (951) 245-3060 (Temporarily Closed)
    Southwest (Temecula) – (951) 600-6600 (Temporarily Closed)
    Desert (Indio /Cathedral City/ Blythe) – (760) 863-7210
    Adoptions Assistance Program – (951) 358-3555
    Diamond Valley – (951) 791-3200
    Youth and Community Resources – (951) 413-5000
    Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program – (951) 358-6389
    Group Home / Medically Fragile – (951) 413-5000

    Foster and Kinship Care Education Program

    Riverside Community College’s Foster and Kinship Care Education Program provides ongoing continuing education classes and workshops for resource families. These classes are accepted as fulfillment of the annual requirements from the state and county for maintaining resource family approval.

    The program offers classes throughout the county, including in Spanish. Call 951-222-8822 for more information.

    Documents to Review with Caregiver

    Referral for Child Health and Disability Prevention
    All foster youth under age 21 who are eligible for Medi-Cal receive a free health and dental check-up.


    Download this brochure for more on the program.

    Additional Document Items for Caregivers

    When a child is placed into foster care, a caregiver should work with a social services practitioner to ensure the following documents are provided: birth certificate, medical card (Medi-Cal), health and education passport, immunization card, social security card, any required medication and education records)

    Placement Grievance Hearings

    Grievance hearings in the Children’s Services Division address placement removal decisions for foster parents, relatives and non-related extended family members.


    What Is the Complaint Process?

    You have the right to make a complaint about any concern you have on a child’s case with the Children’s Services Division and can do so by phone, email, in writing, or in person.

    Download step-by-step instructions on the complaint process here.

    Resolving a Grievance

    If concerns legally qualify for a Placement Grievance Hearing, the concerns will be heard by an Administrative Hearing Officer who recommends an appropriate resolution to the Director of DPSS. Have more questions? Contact the Grievance Unit Supervisor at (951) 358-7017.

    Foster Care Benefits for Dependents and Wards of the Juvenile Court

    If the courts have taken primary responsibility for caring for a foster child, the child may qualify for foster care benefits, which include financial (cash) and medical assistance. These benefits are income for the child (under age 21), not the caregiver and the child must meet certain foster care eligibility criteria.
    Learn more by visiting the State Foster Care website.

    Financial Assistance

    Resource families receive payments on the 12th of the month, following each month of care. The State and county Board of Supervisors establishes payment rates, which vary based on the child’s age, location, and special needs.

    Foster children can receive foster care cash assistance through the Aid to Families with Dependent Children-Foster Care (AFDC-FC) program. The AFDC-FC program is administered under separate state and federal AFDC-FC programs.

    Medical Assistance

    If a child in foster care is receiving a foster care payment, it may include Medi-Cal benefits. Riverside County children who are dependents of the court and live in Riverside or San Bernardino counties can receive Medi-Cal benefits through the Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) as part of IEHPs “Open Access Network”. Call IEHP at (800) 706-4347 for more information.

    Federal Eligibility

    If a child is placed with a relative, the only available Foster Care funding source is federal AFDC-FC. If a child is placed with someone who isn’t a relative (or a relative specified under the Indian Child Welfare Act), federal or non-federal funding may be used. Resource families should talk with their Foster Care Eligibility staff about criteria for these funds and will find contact information above.

    Approved Relative Caregiver (ARC) Funding Option Program

    The Approved Relative Caregiver (ARC) Funding Option Program provides funding for monthly payments on behalf of a child who isn’t eligible for federal assistance and is placed with an approved relative caregiver. The amount is equal to the basic foster care rate. Kids receiving ARC may also be eligible for dual agency rates, infant supplements and educational transportation reimbursements. Learn more at this link.

    Non-Federal Eligibility

    If a child is placed with a caregiver who is not a relative (or a relative specified under ICWA), Federal or Non-Federal AFDC-FC funding may be used.

    A child is eligible to Non-Federal AFDC-FC if the child meets placement authority requirements, lives in an eligible foster care facility or meets court order finding requirements, including deprivation. ‘Deprivation’ means that the child is deprived of parental support or care because the parent died, is incapacitated, absent from the child’s home or unemployed. Note: If the parent or guardian that court removed the child from moves into the home where the foster child lives, the child will lose AFDC-FC eligibility.

    Emergency Caregiver Funding

    Emergency Caregiver (EC) funding is available for families waiting to be approved as a resource family with a child or a non-minor dependent (NMD) that has been placed on an emergency basis. The rate of this funding is equal to the foster care basic rate.

    Adoptions Assistance Payment Program

    If you are adopting a child with special needs, you may qualify for financial and medical assistance through the Adoption Assistance Program (AAP). The adoption Social Services Practitioner determines if you qualify to receive payments. The adoption agency and adoptive family negotiate to set the amount of the monthly payment. Families can learn more about the payment program through their social services practitioner or by contacting the AAP unit at (951) 358-5302.

    Property and Income Limits

    For a child or non-minor dependent to be eligible for federal or state foster care payments, the child/non-minor dependent must meet certain property and income limits. A child/non-minor dependent may not have more than $10,000 in cash and property assets. This includes real estate, cars, bank accounts, savings accounts, savings bonds, etc. Also, the child/nonminor dependent must not have income from any source that exceeds the foster care rate. EXCEPTION: the earned income of a child 16 or older is exempt for the purposes of determining Foster Care property and income if the earned income is part of their transitional independent living plan.

    Placement Types & Eligibility

    For a child to be eligible for foster care payments, they must be placed with a licensed foster family agency, short-term residential therapeutic program, or an approved resource family or tribal home. Non-minor dependents (those 18-21 in foster care) may be placed in Supervised Independent Living Placements or Transitional Housing Program-Non-Minor Dependent placement. Your social services practitioner can answer questions about placement types and eligibility.

    Dual Agency Children

    When a foster child receives both Regional Center and AFDC-FC assistance, they are considered a dual agency child. Regional Centers provide services for a child with a significant developmental disability or a child under age 3 who hasn’t been determined to be developmentally disabled but meets other criteria. Talk with your social services practitioner to discuss what a dual agency child may be eligible to receive.


    Children in foster care may be eligible for health coverage through Medi-Cal, which also provides benefits for children receiving assistance through Kin-GAP and the Adoptions Assistance Payment Program. For information about what medical services Medi-Cal covers, call your medical provider (doctor, dentist, clinic, hospital, etc.)


    The Medi-Cal Dental Program, also known as Denti-Cal, covers a variety of dental services. To find a dentist who accepts Denti-Cal, call (800) 322-6384 or visit this website.

    Child Health and Disability Prevention Program

    Children in foster care who are under age 21 can receive preventative health assessments with Medi-Cal through the Child Health and Disability Prevention Program. To learn more and get help booking an appointment and transportation, call the main CHDP office at (951) 358-5481.

    Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment Program

    Legal guardians who are unable or unwilling to adopt a child may be eligible for cash aid that supports a child through the Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment or Kin-GAP. To be potentially eligible recipients must meet several conditions and regulations approved by the social services provider and California Juvenile Court. Youth may also receive Kin-GAP assistance up to age 21 if they meet certain requirements. To learn more about available assistance and eligibility, contact the Kin-GAP unit at (951) 358-3894.

    Kin-GAP guardians living in Riverside County who need services may call Community Connect at 211 or (800) 303-0001. Community Connect offers resources 24 hours a day on a variety of issues including health care, substance abuse, crisis intervention, employment, and housing. Guardians may also call the Riverside County Kinship and Youth Warmline at (800) 303-0001.

    Youth and Young Adult Programs

    Youth & Young Adult programs prepare current and former foster youth to successfully transition from foster care to adulthood through the Independent Living Program. The program also offers specialized adolescent and young adult extended foster care case management.

    Extended Foster Care (after age 18) / Kin-GAP

    Foster youth who are age 18 and older may be eligible for extended foster care benefits. Questions? Contact the Independent Living Program at (951) 358-6748.

    Independent Living Program (ILP)

    The Independent Living Program provides current and former foster youth resources that lead to self-sufficiency and independence. All dependent and former foster youth are eligible for these services if they’re between 16-21 (in-care or extended foster care) or are between the ages of ages 18-21 (aftercare). For more information about after-care services, please call (951) 358-6748.

    Dependency Verification Letter

    Foster youth need a dependency verification letter before applying for financial aid and other services. To acquire a dependency verification letter, contact us at (951) 358-6748 or email at [email protected]

    ILP Services

    The Independent Living Program (ILP) partners with the Oak Grove Center 1-800-391-9601 to provide ILP services to in-care and after-care eligible youth. Services are listed below.


    ILP helps students prepare for academic assessments, identify educational options and goals, and assist with meeting GED requirements, college scholarships and financial aid. Have questions? Contact ILP at (951) 358-6748 or email at [email protected]


    We’re here to help young people explore their employment interests, options, work readiness skills and inform them about job resources. We also assist with filling out applications and resumes and provide information about helpful vocational training and volunteer programs.

    Health and Safety

    Our services include referrals to appropriate health services and assessments, including adult mental health services, assistance with applications for health care coverage such as extended Medi-Cal benefits, applying for CalFresh benefits, and help with housing options and referrals following emancipation.

    Permanent Connections

    Foster youth involved in ILP receive help to develop mentoring relationships with appropriate adults. We also connect youth with culturally relevant community events and services.

    Events and Workshops

    Our life skills workshops are informative and fun with plenty of rewards, food and the chance to meet new friends. A Life Coach is assigned to each youth to provide individualized care and support while promoting permanency and helping youth connect. For the ILP schedule of workshops & special events contact: Oak Grove Center at 1-800-391-9601.

    Seeking to re-enter foster care?

    Call our 24-hour hotline available 7 days a week for information or to start the process: 1-800-442-4918

    Non-Related Legal Guardian (NRLG)

    The Juvenile Court or Probate Court can appoint a non-related caregiver as a child’s legal guardian until he or she is age 18.
    A non-related legal guardian can apply for Foster Care benefits for a child by calling (951) 509-8312. Youth who enter guardianship through the Juvenile Court are eligible for Foster Care benefits up to age 18, and may continue receiving them until age 21, if certain conditions are met. Youth who enter guardianship through the Probate Court may be eligible for benefits up to age 19. Contact Foster Care Eligibility at the above office locations.

    Administrative Hearings

    When a person files a request for a State hearing on claims of improper action or inaction by DPSS, it’s handled by the Administrative Hearings Unit. Hearings can be requested by calling 1-800-952-5253.


    When a claimant files a hearing request, the Administrative Hearings Unit reviews it to determine if correct and appropriate actions have been taken and works with the claimant to resolve issues.


    If a foster care provider is overpaid aid that they are not entitled to, they will receive a Notice of Action. If the provider wants a hearing over the matter, they must request it within 30 days of the Notice of Action. Providers seeking to repay overpayments may contact DPSS Recovery at (951) 358-3200, by mail at 10281 Kidd St. 1st floor Riverside, CA 92503, or online by clicking here.