How to Request a Foster Care Verification Letter from the State

Q: I’m trying obtain proof of my status as a former foster youth, and am having trouble getting in contact with my county. I hear that the ACIN has been issued on Assembly Bill 592, which gave the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) the authority to provide former foster youth with written verification of their foster care status. How do I contact CDSS, and does the ACIN provide any new information I should note?

A: Yes, the ACIN has been issued. It indicates that former foster youth can contact CDSS to request the verification letter by calling the Foster Care Ombudsman’s Office, toll free at 1-877-846-1602, or by calling the Foster Care Support Services Bureau, at (916) 651-7465. Initial requests need to be received by telephone so that the CDSS staff person may verify the youth’s identity, ask any clarifying questions to find the youth’s case on the CWS/CMS system, and if necessary, to help resolve any issues the youth may have experienced in reaching their county agency of jurisdiction. Completed verification letters will be provided to the youth by fax, email, U.S. mail or in person, depending on the youth’s preference.

Youth should note that CDSS only has the authority to provide this verification to former foster youth. If a current foster youth requests this verification from CDSS, they will be directed to contact the county child welfare agency or probation office that currently serves them. If a youth is currently in foster care and expresses difficulty with getting this verification from their county agency, CDSS will assist the youth with reaching someone from the county agency to help.

Citation: All County Information Notice I-27-16 (April 27, 2016)

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