Private Organization Accreditation

Catholic Charities alleviates human suffering and improves the quality of life of 100,000 people annually, regardless of religious background. A staff of 600 provides support and services related to housing, food, mental health, children's services, addiction treatment, and domestic violence services.


Orange County Government, Youth & Family Services Division

Rodney J. Hrobar Sr., LMHC, CPP, Quality Assurance Manager

As the lead agency in Orange County, providing the safety net for children and families, it is reassuring that our clients can be confident that their needs will be addressed in accordance with the most stringent standards of public, as well as private, accountability as monitored and reviewed by the Council on Accreditation. 
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Child and Family Services promote child and family well-being, protect children’s safety, stablilize and strengthen families, and ensure permanency.

PA-CFS 25: Resource Family Training and Preparation

Resource families receive training and preparation to strengthen their capacity to care for children and support children’s families.

Interpretation: Training and other preparatory activities should be structured to offer prospective resource parents exposure to real-life examples of caring for children involved with the child welfare system, such as children who have experienced trauma and maltreatment and/or may exhibit emotional/behavioral challenges.

Note: See PA-CFS 27 for additional requirements specific to preparing for adoption or guardianship.

Rating Indicators
Full Implementation, Outstanding Performance
A rating of (1) indicates that the agency's practices fully meet the standard and reflect a high level of capacity.  
  • All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, with rare or no exceptions; exceptions do not impact service quality or agency performance. 
Substantial Implementation, Good Performance
A rating of (2) indicates that an agency's infrastructure and practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement. 
  • The majority of the standards requirements have been met and the basic framework required by the standard has been implemented.  
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality or agency performance.  
Partial Implementation, Concerning Performance
A rating of (3) indicates that the agency's observed infrastructure and/or practices require significant improvement.  
  • The agency has not implemented the basic framework of the standard but instead has in place only part of this framework.   
  • Omissions or exceptions to the practices outlined in the standard occur regularly, or practices are implemented in a cursory or haphazard manner. 
  • Service quality or agency functioning may be compromised.   
  • Capacity is at a basic level.
Unsatisfactory Implementation or Performance
A rating of (4) indicates that implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all.  
  • The agency’s observed service delivery infrastructure and practices are weak or non-existent; or show signs of neglect, stagnation, or deterioration.  
Please see Rating Guidance for additional rating examples. 

Table of Evidence

Self-Study Evidence On-Site Evidence On-Site Activities
    • Policy or procedure for required training for resource parents (including specific requirements for foster parents, treatment foster parents, kinship caregivers, and prospective adoptive parents and guardians, as applicable), including specifications regarding pre- and in-service training requirements
    • Training curricula
    • Materials provided to resource parents describing their rights and responsibilities
    • Training attendance records
    • Interview:
      1. Agency leadership
      2. Relevant personnel
      3. Resource parents
    • Review resource parent records 

  • FP
    PA-CFS 25.01

    Resource parents receive pre-service training on rights and responsibilities that addresses: 

    1. the agency’s mission, service philosophy or practice model, and service array;
    2. the rights of the children in care;
    3. what resource families should expect when they take in a child;
    4. the competencies needed for effective resource parenting, and how those competencies are integral to the agency’s service philosophy or practice model;
    5. specific duties of resource parents; 
    6. identification and reporting of abuse and neglect; 
    7. any fees or reimbursements for services, including compensation for damages caused by children placed in the home, as applicable; 
    8. notice of and participation in any review or hearing regarding the children; 
    9. procedures when allegations of maltreatment are made, and ways to prevent false allegations; 
    10. complaint procedures; and 
    11. circumstances that will result in revoking a resource family license or certification.

    Interpretation: Element (k) is not applicable training for unlicensed kinship caregivers.

    Research Note: Resource parents participating in a study of retention stated that the lack of reimbursement for some incurred expenses, including transportation, clothing, and recreational services, can impact resource parent turnover. Researchers recommend identifying and addressing concerns about the costs of providing resource family care during training.

  • PA-CFS 25.02

    Resource parents receive the appropriate amount of pre-service and in-service training and support to demonstrate competency in:

    1. supporting and facilitating children’s emotional, physical, and legal permanency;
    2. meeting children’s developmental needs across life domains, including addressing any developmental delays;
    3. promoting positive behavior and healing through coaching, nurturing, and positive discipline;
    4. providing protection and promoting psychological safety to mediate the effects of trauma, maltreatment, separation, loss, and exploitation;
    5. providing appropriate and responsive support and management for social, emotional, and behavioral issues and challenges, including issues and challenges that may be the result of trauma;
    6. preventing and responding to missing children, including understanding factors that may contribute to the decision to run away, reporting protocols, and how to support children upon their return;
    7. caring for a child of a different race, ethnicity, culture, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity;
    8. supporting children’s social identity development;
    9. supporting and facilitating family relationships, friendships, cultural ties, and community connections;
    10. understanding the stages of, and preventing, placement disruptions; 
    11. collaborating with family team members and service providers; and
    12. managing the caregiver role, self-care, and the impact on the resource family.

    Interpretation: Given the prevalence of trauma among children in the child welfare system, it is crucial that resource parents are prepared to recognize and provide appropriate support when children have been impacted by trauma, as addressed in PA-CFS 11 and 16. Caregivers may be better able to support children who have experienced trauma if they have been trained to understand the concept of trauma; recognize that children’s social, emotional, and behavioral difficulties may be the result of trauma; and manage difficult behaviors and trauma reminders.    

    Interpretation: With regards to elements (g) and (i), training must include educating resource parents on the Indian Child Welfare Act, its impact on placement and permanency for American Indian and Alaska Native children, and the resource parents’ responsibilities for supporting the child’s cultural identity and facilitating connections to his or her tribe. 

    Interpretation: Resource families caring for parenting youth placed together with the youths’ children should also receive training and support to demonstrate competency in modeling positive parenting practices, supporting youth parents to meet their children’s needs, and meeting the dual developmental needs of the youth parents and their children. 

    Interpretation: Educating resource parents on sex trafficking is a critical component to prevention, identification, and treatment. Education should address how resource parents can support children through information on topics such as internet safety, how to respond when children run away, and developing healthy relationships. Additionally, education for resource parents of trafficking victims should emphasize the issue of stigma associated with prostitution to help resource families provide healthy, nonjudgmental home environments that are supportive of successful reintegration.

    Interpretation: Agencies that work with both kin and unrelated resource parents should make the effort to provide separate training for kinship caregivers in order to provide a space in which kinship caregivers can relate to each other and apply the training to their specific experiences of caring for their kin. If resources do not allow for separate training the training facilitator should work to incorporate the experience of both groups into the training. Training facilitators can follow up with kinship caregivers about their concerns and the training experience, to ensure that their particular concerns can be addressed in the training or at another time by the personnel working with their families. Some of the specific training and support needs of kin may relate to negotiating family dynamics, supporting family stability, the experience of family trauma, managing boundaries, and disciplining traditions. When kinship caregivers provide temporary care for children not in the custody of the child welfare agency, the agency may offer support groups or skill-building sessions that help kinship caregivers develop the identified competencies rather than offering a comprehensive training program.

    Note: See PA-CFS 15.09 for more information regarding practices and protocols related to missing children.

  • FP
    PA-CFS 25.03

    Resource families are trained in:

    1. recognizing and responding to child behaviors that jeopardize safety, health, and well-being;
    2. protocols for responding to emergencies including accidents, serious illnesses, fires, and natural and human-caused disasters; and
    3. medical or rehabilitation interventions and operation of medical equipment required for children’s care, as needed.

  • FP
    PA-CFS 25.04

    Resource parents are: 

    1. trained in basic first aid; 
    2. trained in medication administration; and 
    3. certified in CPR.

    Interpretation: Retraining should be provided at least every two years. 

    Note: While this standard is not required when children are in the temporary legal custody of kin (and not the public agency), COA does still recommend that education and training be provided in these areas, as needed. 

  • FP
    PA-CFS 25.05

    Resource parents sign a statement indicating that for children placed in their care they agree to:

    1. identify and report abuse and neglect;
    2. employ positive discipline techniques; 
    3. refrain from using physical and degrading punishment; and
    4. ensure that others refrain from using physical and degrading punishment.

    Interpretation: In addition to providing training and support around positive discipline, the agency should help resource parents process their beliefs about discipline and proactively support their use of positive discipline techniques.

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