County of Marin Health and Human Services


Children and Family Services (CFS) staff protect children from abuse and neglect, and work with birth families to help them keep their children safe.  When children must be removed from their birth families, CFS looks for relatives or non-related extended family members to care for the children and if none are available they are placed in the temporary care of Resource Family homes.    In most cases, birth parents are provided with services for six to eighteen months to help them reunify (reunite) with their children.  At the same time, a concurrent plan is made to determine where the children will live permanently if they are unable to return to their parents’ care.  Once services to the parents have ended there are three options:  Adoption, Legal Guardianship and Permanent Placement.  The Resource Family that has been caring for the child may be considered as the permanent home through legal guardianship or adoption.  

While adoption is possible through the county, it is not the primary focus.  Individuals that wish to expand their family through adoption of children in the child welfare system would be best served by working with one of our community partners that specialize in adoption and provide services in many counties.  


Resource Family Approval (RFA) is the process for approving families for foster care, legal guardianship and adoption of youth in the child welfare and probation systems.  Once approved, a family is able to transition from temporary foster care to permanent placement/adoption with no further assessment.  Children who need permanent homes are of all ages and ethnic backgrounds.  Some are brothers and sisters that want to stay together and some may not be English-speaking.  While they have all experienced separation from their birth families, they can blossom and grow in a stable and loving home.

Any adult (18 or older) resident of Marin County is invited to learn more about Resource Family Approval at an orientation.  Offered monthly, the orientations are facilitated by a social worker and a Resource Parent who will discuss the application process, the training and support available and answer questions.  You may view the schedule and register for an Orientation here.