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There are two ways you can help teenagers in probation's care.

Become a foster (or adoptive) parent

All Probation Foster Parents receive comprehensive training and support throughout their foster care service. Foster parents receive a stipend to supplement the cost of caring for the youth. In addition, when you foster a teenager on Probation, you get to know the young person before they move in with you. We want to make sure all of our foster parents and teens are excited about this journey. Foster Parents are required to participate in trainings and undergo a background check.

Become a forever friend

Forever Friends is a program designed to foster lifelong relationships between youth who have experienced challenges growing up and caring adults in the community. The young people have been in contact with the Los Angeles County Probation Department. Volunteers participate in a one-day training and undergo a background check before being paired with a teenager in the care of the Probation Department.


Steps to becoming a foster or adoptive parent

Step 1. Attend An Orientation
Probation hosts virtual (live) orientations for interested individuals and/or families and regularly works with select nonprofit Foster Family Agencies to host orientations and even approve/certify families. To see upcoming orientations, click here.

Step 2. Get Trained
All prospective parents receive specialty training including CPR and First Aid. The trainings can typically be done online or in-person.

Step 3. Health Screenings & Background Check
All prospective parents must pass a routine health screening and criminal background check.

Step 4. Home Assessments
Probation’s team (or a Foster Family Agency if you choose to work with one) will visit you at home to make sure it is child-safe and that your family dynamics are able to accommodate the need of a young person. In specific cases we have been able to provide financial support to enable families to meet the needs of a young person.

Step 5. Approval
Once all of the above requirements have been met, you will be approved as a resource parent (formerly foster parent) and we will introduce you a teenager in need of someone like you. If you and the teen agree that it’s a good fit, the teenager will join your family as a foster child.

Steps to becoming a forever friend/lifelong connection

The teens in Los Angeles County’s Forever Friend program most often reside in one of the County’s residential programs because their home is not a suitable environment. As the teens get closer to adulthood, it’s important that they have positive influences and role models to help them navigate life. They need someone in their corner, rooting for them and helping them to dust themselves off when things don’t go the way they planned.

The commitment is whatever you can give. To qualify, you must attend a one-day training and undergo a quick live-scan (background check). You will then be introduced to a teen in an informal, casual environment, and if there is a connection, a visitation schedule will be set up. The on-site visits can include enjoying a meal together or playing board or card games and gradually move on to taking her or him for outings in the community and getting to know one another. Once the connection is established, you may possibly be the life-long connection that will change their life. By simply answering their text messages, returning their calls, spending holidays with them, or sending a birthday card, you are showing them you care, and in some cases, you may be the only family they have.