Adoptions and Permanency

FCS provides services to children and youth who cannot be safely returned home to ensure that they get the help they need and are connected to a permanent family.

Every child deserves to have a safe and permanent home. Our Family and Children's Service division (FCS) oversees and supports several permanency services and programs in an effort to promote permanency for children involved with our agency.

Adoption Assistance Program (AAP)
The AAP program provides benefits to families who adopt special needs children or Non-Minor Dependents (NMDs). These benefits may include monthly financial assistance, medical insurance through Medi-Cal, non-recurring adoption expenses (up to $400 per child), and payment for special services such as residential or behavioral health treatment, and continuation of AAP benefits in a readoption.

Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment Program (Kin-GAP)
The Kin-GAP program offers a subsidy to children who exit foster care with a permanent plan of Legal Guardianship with a relative. Children may receive benefits under the federal or the state Kin-GAP programs. The basic eligibility requirements for this program include that 1) the child has resided with the relative caregiver for at least 12 consecutive months in a court ordered placement, 2) Legal Guardianship is established with the relative caregiver, and 3) the Juvenile Dependency case is dismissed at the same time or after the establishment of the Legal Guardianship by the Court.

Adoption Services Through Family Builders
Family Builders offers free, confidential programs for fostering, adoption, and other forms of permanency for those families who are ready to meet the needs of children and older youth waiting in the foster care system. They connect children with individuals and couples who can provide safe, stable, nurturing families.

Family Builders welcomes traditional families; single-parent families; both men and women; gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender families; transracial and multiracial families; and all other families as prospective adoptive parents. Family Builders is committed to serving all families equally with dignity and respect. They provide all services in English and Spanish and welcome monolingual Spanish-speaking families.

Permanency Planning Mediation
Permanency Planning Mediation (PPM) is a free service provided by Consortium for Children, a private nonprofit that has no connection or fiscal relationship to the court or the public child welfare agency. PPM is a non-adversarial, confidential service provided by a specially trained mediator at the request of the child welfare agency, parent’s attorney, adoptive parent’s attorney, child’s attorney, Child Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), or the court. It is initiated when it becomes clear that reunification efforts with the family of origin of a particular child or sibling group will not be successful, and before the beginning of any court action to terminate parental rights.

The purpose of the mediation is to focus the family of origin and the prospective permanent family on children’s need for permanence as well as to invite their participation in making a permanent plan. One of the purposes of the mediation process is to minimize loss for children. The PPM process gives participants lots of time to make thoughtful decisions and seek advice and counsel from people they trust. PPM services are provided in the participant’s homes, or other places that are safe and comfortable for the parties to the mediation.