Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Chang, Janet


Resource Family Approval (RFA) is a policy that was recently enacted in California. The process seeks to merge existing policies on the regulations of families who wish to care for children involved in the foster care system. The purpose of this study was to understand the perceptions of resource family approval social workers and the implementation of RFA. Ten participants were chosen from the resource family approval unit from a county child welfare agency. The study was a qualitative design with in person interviews.

Common themes emerged in responses to social worker's thoughts about RFA, social worker's ideas for preparing other workers, families and the agency, and advice to new workers in RFA. The study found that participants had mixed responses regarding their own thoughts about RFA. The majority of the participants in the study felt that RFA was good in theory but not in execution. The study also revealed that RFA workers needed to be open-minded and focus on communicating with all parties involved in RFA. One of the recommendations is for policy makers to assess the effectiveness of the policy before enacting changes and give the policy time to work itself out before trying to change things so often. Another recommendation is that it is critical to offer ongoing trainings to both the workers and the families for RFA to be implemented and run smoothly and effectively within the community.

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