Is Angels a county-run foster care agency?

No. Angels is a licensed foster family agency, operating independently, but in cooperation with San Diego County Social Services.

How is Angels different?

Angels parents:

– Foster one child or sibling set at a time. (Traditional foster parent are allowed by the County of San Diego to foster up to six children at one time.)

– In-depth developmental training related to children 5 years of age and younger.

– Agree to care for a child until permanent placement is decided, and are carefully matched to the child to ensure that the first foster placement is the best and only placement. (Traditional foster care does not rule out short-term placements and children may experience an average of three placements during their first year in care.)

– Receive weekly visits and support from their Angels Clinical Case Manager, who is available for parent visitations and all court dates, as needed. Angels Clinical Case Managers carry smaller caseloads and are focused only on the support of our children and families.

– Consider it a privilege to parent a child and do so as a contribution to the community.

Where do children served by Angels come from?

Children come to Angels after they have been taken into protective custody by Child Protective Services. Angels receives referrals from the Polinsky Children’s Center, placement workers, and local hospitals.

How is Angels funded?

Angels is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization funded through private donations from individuals, corporations, and foundations. We also receive funding for basic program costs from public sources. All funding received is used to recruit, train, and support Angels families and their foster children.

What are the requirements for becoming an Angels parent?

Basic requirements include:

  • Attending an Information Session
  • Fingerprint and child abuse index clearance
  • Physical exam, TDAP, and TB test
  • DMV printout, current auto insurance, and driver’s license
  • Successful completion of our specialized training program
  • Home study and in-depth family interview
  • Completion of MMPI-2 psychological screening.
I thought only older children needed foster homes. Is this true?

One in three children in foster care in San Diego is under the age of five. This is the largest group in foster care, and the most critical period of development.

I have heard that children in foster care have medical issues. How often is this true?

Some children have medical issues, but some do not. The most common issues we see are neglect, abandonment, malnutrition, physical abuse, or in-utero drug exposure, though this is not always the case. When there are issues, we have found that a loving and nurturing environment restores children to health very quickly.

Does the County provide medical coverage?

Every child is insured by Medi-Cal, which covers all medical costs for the child.

Will I receive any compensation for caring for an Angels baby?

Angels does not pay parents to care for babies, and prospective parents should view their commitment as a contribution to a healthier generation. Families receive the standard stipend from San Diego County to cover the significant expenses of caring for a child such as diapers, clothing, and other necessities. Families also receive assistance for food costs through the Women Infants Children (WIC) program. All medical and legal expenses are covered directly by the State of California.

Do Angels children have contact with their birth parents?

All children in foster care have court-ordered reunification plans. Angels parents are responsible for making sure that the children are available to visit with their parents as ordered by the court. Visits are arranged by the foster parents and the biological parents to ensure that they fit everyone’s schedule. Visits are never held at the home of the foster parents. and foster parent addresses are confidential. The visits are supervised and held at a location that works for both biological and foster parents, often at the Angels office. Angels helps coordinate visitation sites and times.

What is involved in your classroom training program?

Our acclaimed Angels Parent Pre-Certification Program covers practical parenting skills as well as key principles of child development and psychology required to raise a happy, well-adjusted child. The training totals 27 hours of classroom training over four days. Our program includes:

The Fundamentals of PRIDE Training, developed by the Child Welfare League of America

Trauma-informed parenting approaches

Normal child development focused on the newborn to five-year-old age range

Importance of attachment

Infant care

TLC-focused training on children with special needs

Grief and loss

Parenting, play, and stimulation

County roles and responsibilities

How long will a child stay with us?

Each case is different. The court offers reunification services to most birth parents. However, these parents must comply with the court’s orders to regain custody, so the length of placement varies. At Angels, we ask that our foster families commit to caring for the child until a decision is made about final placement. At that time, the child will either be reunified or placed for adoption. If the opportunity arises and your family chooses to adopt, Angels will support you through the process. Children placed with Angels families typically remain a ward of the court for 6 to 18 months, but it can be as short as a few days and as long as 2 ½ years.

Can Angels families ever adopt the children in their care?

Yes. When reunification efforts are unsuccessful, children may become eligible for adoption, and although many of our families don’t pursue adoption, some may choose to. Approximately 20 – 25 % of our children are adopted by their Angels parents.

How much support will our family get after a child is welcomed into our home?

Angels is here to support you every step of the way, by answering your questions or guiding you to resources for help. Angels Clinical Case Managers are always available to offer guidance and experienced Angels parents often mentor new families. Support group meetings are offered throughout the year.

Can single people be certified as Angels parents?

Yes. Angels does not discriminate against individuals who meet all of the qualifications to become an Angels parent. We recognize that parents and families come in different shapes and sizes, and we respect everyone’s desire to care for a child. Click here to learn more.

What is the process to become an Angels Foster Parent?

Follow the link to see the step-by-step process of becoming an Angels Foster Parent.

May I read stories from other Angels parents about their fostering experience?

Yes, please see Foster Parent Spotlight blog.

Can I help even if I don’t have the time or resources to be a foster parent?

Yes. Your tax-deductible contribution to Angels will help us continue to place infants and toddlers in loving homes. Angels is financed by donations, so our work depends on your help. Learn more about donating.

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