CDSS launches centralized foster youth verification system

The California Department of Social Services issued guidance on April 27, 2016 regarding a new process that former foster youth can use to get verification of their foster care status. The guidance describes 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.