FAM FAQ

FAM youth are pre-teens and teens in San Francisco foster care who have been prioritized because of their risk to commercial sexual exploitation (CSE). They will have access to:

  • A safe, family home with a “primary caregiver:” a family who is highly trained, well-supported, and generally caring for no other youth in foster care
  • A “secondary caregiver” who offers extra support and who youth can stay with for short periods - this is unique to FAM!
  • High-quality case management and specialized mental health care
  • Permanency planning and relationship support
  • Support connecting with education and extracurricular activities
  • Opportunities to build relationships with the important people in their lives (e.g. biological/extended/chosen family)
  • Continued support and access to services even when not at home, and a warm welcome back to the same home when they’re ready

FAM caregivers fall into two categories:

Primary caregivers are the family with whom a youth will primarily live. These caregivers are approved foster families (called resource families in California) and will be the primary people responsible for caring for the FAM youth in their home.  FAM primary caregivers are paid by the county, with extra financial support available through FAM, and are asked to have only one youth in foster care living with them at a time (with some exceptions).  As part of FAM, they have access to much more support than is traditionally available to caregivers in the foster care system. This includes the support of secondary caregivers!

Secondary caregivers are also approved foster families but do NOT have any youth formally placed with them to live. Instead, secondary caregivers spend time with a FAM youth and their primary caregiver(s) at least once a week through meals, activities, or whatever else feels right for them.  Secondary caregivers also keep a bedroom available for the youth to stay at for short periods of time (e.g. a sleepover or weekend) and receive a stipend through FAM. You might think of secondary caregivers as a mentor, an aunt or uncle, a grandparent, extended family or a family friend - because youth and families in foster care deserve flexibility and familiarity.

  • Quality initial and ongoing training on relevant topics, up to the highest level of foster care: Intensive Services Foster Care (ISFC)
  • Shared caregiving through the partnership between primary and secondary caregivers - a first for California’s Foster Care system!
  • Supplemental funding beyond the foster care rate (including a stipend for secondary caregivers, who wouldn’t otherwise receive a foster care rate)
  • Opportunities to build a caregiving support system through learning and consultation groups
  • Family therapy, as needed
  • Support navigating relationships with youth's biological family or other important people in their lives
  • Support if and when youth transition out of their home

We welcome caregivers from all over the Bay Area, within a 90-mile radius of San Francisco.  Right now, FAM is prioritizing youth in the San Francisco foster care system, so homes in SF are especially in demand.

Yes!

No!  You can join as an individual, a couple, a family, or even multiple households.  

Yes! Any person over the age of 18 is considered an adult living in the home, which can range from a partner, adult children, other relatives, or house mates. These individuals will need to complete a criminal record clearance and other additional screenings depending on their level of involvement.

No! We welcome caregivers who are experienced in the foster care system, new to it, or somewhere in between. FAM requires all caregivers to complete approval as a California resource family and to meet the Intensive Service Foster Care (ISFC) training requirements.

FAM has no specific age restrictions for caregivers besides being over 18.

FAM caregivers are trained up to the Intensive Services Foster Care (ISFC) level in order to care for youth who may benefit from extra support - that's 40 hours of training before any FAM placement. FAM's 16 hour CSEC training includes topics specifically designed to help caregivers support FAM youth. In addition, ongoing training and consultation are offered on a monthly basis for caregivers to build community, troubleshoot challenges, and celebrate successes.

Yes! While FAM is intended for primary caregivers to have only one youth in foster care in the home (with exceptions for siblings or extraordinary circumstances), there is flexibility with regard to other children in the home. We encourage you to consider your family's needs and wellbeing and are happy to consult around questions and concerns.

We are seeking families who are interested in caring for youth into adulthood. That said, every situation is different. Some youth may reunify with family; others may move on to independent living. But everyone deserves belonging long term - whether it's a place to visit for the holidays or someone to invite to graduation. Our hope is that the relationships built in FAM will be lifelong. 

Infographic explaining foster child caretaker types