Getting Your Home Ready for Certification
We are often asked “How do I prepare my home for a child in foster care?” The State of California requires that foster family homes be “certified” to provide care for children who are in foster care. All foster families are governed by state regulations effecting foster family homes contained in Title 22, Division 6 Chapter 9.5. Sounds complicated? At Sierra Forever Families we aim to simplify and demystify this process for you. Are you considering setting up your home for a foster child? Here are some guidelines to consider:
- Functioning smoke detectors are required for each bedroom or in hallways near bedrooms. Carbon monoxide alarms must also be maintained on each level of the home to prevent CO poisoning.
- There can be up to two children per bedroom. A boy and a girl can share a room until one of them turns five. Each bedroom must have a working window and door, a separate bed for each child equipped with clean linen, blankets and pillow, and closet space to accommodate personal belongings. A portable closet is acceptable.
- In addition to each parent completing First Aid and CPR trainings, the family must have a First Aid kit readily accessible in a central location in the home.
- Cleaning products/chemicals, such as dishwashing liquid, detergent and window cleaner and the like must be inaccessible to children. In addition, poisons such as bleach, bug spray, and gasoline must be kept locked.
- All medication, including vitamins, prescription and over the counter for all family members shall also be kept locked.
There are approximately 60,000 children and youth in California’s foster care system. Those kids have entered foster care for various reasons such as parental neglect, abuse or exploitation. Sierra Forever Families is a licensed foster and adoption agency whose mission is to transform the lives of children in foster care by building and nurturing permanent families. The ultimate goal for all foster kids is to land in a safe and loving forever home. We are looking for families who are willing to begin the steps, with our support and guidance, to become a resource for those kids. While there are many state regulations, each of our offices has a support Certification Specialist to help guide you every step of the way.