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Foster Family Agency
Foster Family Agencies (FFAs) are residential options for children with developmental disabilities, that represent a collaborative effort between two service systems - developmental disabilities and social services/community care licensing. FFAs are privately operated organizations licensed by the Community Care Licensing Division of the State Department of Social Services to care for children up to age 18 in certified foster family homes. FFAs are responsible for the recruitment, training and certification of families to provide alternative homes for children. FFAs monitor and provide oversight for the homes they have certified, and have the authority to decertify homes when necessary. In addition, through the use of professional staff such as social workers, FFAs provide ongoing support to certified parent(s) and the children who live with them.
Professional foster care allows the family and/or those who know the child the best to pick and choose the best support system for the child and wrap services around the child rather than have the child fit into whatever services, i.e. group home, are available. The child is living in a "normal" way - the child lives in a family, in a neighborhood and interacts with other children living the same way. The child has as much contact with the family of origin as the family chooses. The foster home, in the most ideal situation, becomes an extension of the family system.
For more information about Foster Family Agencies, contact your local regional center or the:
California Department of Developmental Services
Community Services Division
Programs and Policy Branch