County Clearance

The County Clearance is the process after the Agency Approval.

In California, applicants for foster parenting or adoptions may apply to either a private foster family agency or the county public foster family agency. Some counties do not operate a foster family unit and instead only have private foster families providing this service in their county.

Foster family agencies are authorized to approve Resource Families but then submit a "clearance packet" to the county for final clearance. The "Clearance Packet" contains some of the documentation that the agency collected through its approval process. 

The County receives the packet and ensures the documentation is accurate. More importantly, the county checks certain county data-base to verify that the applicants do not have any allegations or "hits" in the child welfare system. Although the foster family agency receive information regarding the DOJ, FBI, and Child Abuse Central Index (CACI), the counties have additional databases that they search.  

Some counties are conducting a pre-check before the agency initiates its approval process, so that the foster family agency can be assured that an individual or family that they have approved, will in fact be cleared by the county. In rare occasions, the county finds something that was not reported in the DOJ, FBI, or CACI, which are checked through the LiveScan process. 

The foster family agencies do not have any control over how long it takes the county to review a clearance packet. Some counties have delays in excess of 4 months and some parents report waiting up to 9 months.

Was this article helpful?