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Additional Information > DCFS Employee Functions/Situations > Adoption of DCFS-Supervised Children by DCFS Employees

Adoption of DCFS-Supervised Children by DCFS Employees

1200-500.70 | Revision Date: 07/01/14


This policy guide provides guidelines for the adoption of DCFS-supervised children by DCFS employees.



Placement of Children in the Homes of DCFS Employees

Unattached Cases  

Unattached Child Adoption Criteria

Attached Cases

Attached Child Adoption Criteria


Adopting an Unattached Child

DCFS Employee Responsibilities

DCFS Employee Supervisor’s Responsibilities

PRU Staff and Management’s Responsibilities

Employee Adoption Review Panel Responsibilities

Assigned CSW’s Responsibilities

DCFS Employee’s Regional Administrator/Manager Responsibilities

Case-carrying CSW’s Deputy Director Responsibilities

Adopting an Attached Child

Case-carrying CSW Responsibilities


Helpful Links


Referenced Policy Guides


Version Summary

This policy guide was updated from the 07/12/13 version, as part of the Policy Redesign, in accordance with the DCFS Strategic Plan.


Placement of Children in the Homes of DCFS Employees

The placement of DCFS supervised children in the home of any DCFS employee is prohibited pursuant to the DCFS Personnel Manual Section 8.710, unless that child is a relative, and the home has been approved pursuant to Title XII regulations:


DCFS employees may care for children from other counties who are placed directly by those counties or by other agencies, such as other counties’ Probation or private agencies. 


In cases where an employee is neither a relative nor a NREFM and wishes to adopt a DCFS-supervised child, DCFS must ensure that there is no conflict of interest or appearance of a conflict of interest.


The DCFS Adoption and Permanency Resources Division (APRD) cannot conduct an adoption home study/family assessment (referred to as an applicant assessment) of a DCFS employee, regardless of the employee’s relation to or knowledge of the child.


When DCFS employees are permitted to adopt children who are under DCFS supervision, the adoption procedures are based on whether the child is in an attached or unattached case.

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Unattached Cases

An unattached case refers to a child who is in need of an adoptive family because:


All unattached children who need an adoptive placement for whom Family Reunification has either been terminated or is unlikely to be offered at all must be referred to PRU.


Unattached cases must have an approval letter signed by the Director in order to accept fost/adopt placement.

Unattached Child Adoption Criteria

The following Case Criteria must be met:


The following Applicant Assessment Requirements must be met:


After all of the required approvals are obtained:

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Attached Cases

An attached case refers to a case in which a DCFS employee wishes to adopt a child to whom he or she is related, or for whom he or she currently cares (either as a relative caregiver or NREFM).

Attached Child Adoption Criteria

If the employee is a relative and/or is currently caring for a DCFS-supervised child, either as a relative or as a nonrelative extended family member (NREFM), the adoption process essentially follows the same procedures as a non-employee relative/NREFM adoption case, with the following exceptions:

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Adopting an Unattached Child

DCFS Employee Responsibilities:

  1. If the employee chooses to use a private adoption agency, the employee makes the contact and arrangements with the agency.


  1. If the employee chooses to use an adjacent county, the employee notifies PRU at (626) 229-3790 or (800) 811-1121 of his/her interest in adopting and requests that a letter be sent to the adjacent county requesting a courtesy assessment/home study.


  1. The employee notifies his/her immediate supervisor in writing that (s)he has read this policy guide in its entirety and of his/her intent to adopt a child under DCFS supervision.


  1. If the employee is interested in a particular child (e.g. knows the child, has met the child before or, during the applicant assessment process, met the child at an adoption fair), the employee immediately notifies his or her immediate supervisor, regardless of where he or she is in the applicant assessment process. The employee provides the following information to his or her supervisor:


  1. Upon receipt of the completed assessment/home study, the employee notifies the PRU that (s)he has received the completed assessment/home study and whether it was completed by a private or public agency.

DCFS Employee Supervisor’s Responsibilities:

  1. Review the employee’s written notification of his or her intent to adopt and file it in the employee’s office personnel file.


  1. Forward a copy of the employee’s request to the Assistant Regional Administrator (ARA).

PRU Staff and Management’s Responsibilities:

  1. Once the approved and completed applicant assessment is received by PRU, generate a fost/adopt letter to be sent to the Director for signature.


  1. Upon receipt of the fost/adopt letter signed by the Director, place it into the employee’s assessment/home study and ensure the entire physical case is filed separately in a secure office location.


  1. Enter the employee’s basic information only into the search engine for matching purposes. In the alert message field, indicate that this is a DCFS employee and that the PRU SCSW may be contacted for any potential match.


  1. When a match is generated, provide the employee with the Questionnaire for Employee Adoptive Applicants form for completion.


  1. Upon receipt of the completed Questionnaire for Employee Adoptive Applicants form, ensure that the PRU Manager reviews this form to identify any potential conflict of interest.


  1. If it is determined that there is, or there appears to be, a conflict of interest, convene an Employee Adoption Review Panel comprised of:  the PRU Manager, an APRD Assistant Regional Administrator (ARA) and County Counsel.


  1. If PRU does not identify a conflict of interest, or the issue has been resolved through the panel, arrange a pre-placement process and presentation.

Employee Adoption Review Panel Responsibilities:

  1. Assess for potential conflict of interest and determine what steps, if any, can be taken to remedy the conflict of interest by thoroughly reviewing:


  1. Submit the findings and recommendations to the APRD Assistant Division Chief, or Division Chief who reviews the panel’s findings and recommendations, and forward them to the APRD Deputy Director for approval.


  1. If it is found that there is potential conflict of interest that was subsequently mitigated, the PRU Manager will request a subsequent approval letter from the Director.


  1. If a findings and recommendations agreement cannot be reached, the APRD Assistant Division Chief or Division Chief makes the final determination and then forwards it to the APRD Deputy Director for approval.


  1. If the match and placement of the child is denied, the APRD Deputy Director provides reasons for denial to the panel.  The employee is also entitled to a copy of the reasons for the denial.

Assigned CSW’s Responsibilities:

DCFS Employee's Regional Administrator/Manager Responsibilities:

  1. In consultation with the APRD Division Chief, determine if it is necessary to re-assign the case.


  1. Instruct the employee, in writing, that (s)he is not permitted to access or request other employee’s access or view the child’s physical and electronic case records (e.g. CWS/CMS, JAI, JADE, WCMIS, etc.), under any circumstances.


  1. File a copy of the written instruction and the Director’s permission letter in employee’s personnel file.


  1. Review, complete, and sign the corresponding sections of the DCFS 6016.


  1. File all written correspondence, including the Director’s permission letter and the signed DCFS 6016 in the employee's applicant Assessment folder or its equivalent.

Case-carrying CSW’s Deputy Director Responsibilities:

  1. Review and complete the remainder of the DCFS 6016, and, if approved, sign. If not approved, return to the CSW for corrective action.


  1. File all documentation in the employee's applicant Assessment folder or its equivalent.

Adopting an Attached Child

Case-Carrying CSW Responsibilities

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Employee’s RA/Manager

APRD Assistant Division Chief or Division Chief Approval

APRD Division Chief Approval

APRD Deputy Director

Child’s case-carrying CSW’s Deputy Director


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LA Kids

DCFS 6016, Steps for DCFS Employees Who Wish to Adopt a Los Angeles County Dependent Child

Questionnaire for Employee Adoptive Applicant and any Adopting Partner

Referenced Policy Guides

0080-507.20, Concurrent Planning and the Concurrent Planning AssessmentAn assessment document as prescribed in Welfare and Institutions Code Sections 366.21(I), 366.22(b) and 361.5(g). The CPA is initiated by the case carrying Children's Social Worker and completed by the APRD CSW when adoption home study for attached children or matching/recruitment activities for unattached children are initiated.

0100-520.10, Evaluating a Prospective Caregiver

0200-506.10, Applicant Assessment for the Adoption of Children

0200-507.10, Identifying a Prospective Adoptive Family for a Child Through the Placement and Recruitment Unit (PRU)

0200-509.20, Pre-Placement Process


Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services Personnel Manual, Section 8.352 – States in part that departmental policy prohibits DCFS placement of any child, other than a relative, in the home of a DCFS employee. This policy applies to all employees regardless of function. Violation of this policy could result in disciplinary action including suspension or discharge. Only in rare and unusual circumstances will any exceptions to this policy be considered. The Director must approve such exceptions. An example of a rare and unusual circumstance is when a court orders placement of a non-related child in the home of an employee, independent of DCFS procedures. DCFS employees are permitted to provide foster care to children to whom they are related. For the purposes of this section, the foster home licensing definition of a relative is applicable. Children’s Social Workers and Children’s Treatment Counselors, who bear direct responsibilities to children, shall additionally be guided by policies and procedures applicable to their positions in meeting placement decisions.

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