Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standard (RPPS)

What is Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standard (RPPS)?

Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standard (RPPS) is the standard that allows caregivers to make reasonable and prudent parenting decisions that promote normalcy in the lives of foster youth. It was created in 2014 after Congress passed the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act.

What is the purpose of RPPS?

The purpose of RPPS is to empower caregivers with the ability to promote “normalcy” in the lives of foster youth. Under RPPS, you can make careful and sensible parenting decisions that maintain your youth’s health, safety, and best interests while encouraging their emotional and developmental growth. You can use RPPS to determine if you want to allow your youth to participate in extracurricular, enrichment, cultural, and/or social activities.

Before RPPS, years of restrictive policies prioritized the safety of foster youth at the expense of their overall well-being. For example, criminal background checks would be required before foster youth could sleep over at a friend’s house or go on an overnight school trip. Or youth would need approval before joining a sports team or doing activities that may result in injury.

With RPPS, you are empowered to make parenting decisions that will promote normalcy and your youth’s positive growth and development!

 

What is normalcy?

Normalcy is the opportunity for youth in foster care to participate in age-, developmentally-, and culturally-appropriate activities that promote normal growth and development. It’s the opportunity for them to have life experiences like their peers who are not in foster care.

The main elements of normalcy are:

  • a focus on permanency,
  • the ability to participate in routine activities, and
  • the opportunity to develop independence.

Promoting normalcy means maintaining strong connections between foster youth and their loved ones and making sure youth can participate in enriching activities. All foster youth, throughout all home settings, have a right to normalcy. Through normalcy, foster youth can explore and develop interests and talents, safely experiment and practice decision-making, and develop healthy relationships with peers and adults. They get the opportunity to grow, develop, and have normal experiences like their peers who are not in care.

What is the purpose of RPPS?

The purpose of RPPS is to empower caregivers with the ability to promote “normalcy” in the lives of foster youth. Under RPPS, you can make careful and sensible parenting decisions that maintain your youth’s health, safety, and best interests while encouraging their emotional and developmental growth. You can use RPPS to determine if you want to allow your youth to participate in extracurricular, enrichment, cultural, and/or social activities.

Before RPPS, years of restrictive policies prioritized the safety of foster youth at the expense of their overall well-being. For example, criminal background checks would be required before foster youth could sleep over at a friend’s house or go on an overnight school trip. Or youth would need approval before joining a sports team or doing Save & Exit activities that may result in injury.

With RPPS, you are empowered to make parenting decisions that will promote normalcy and your youth’s positive growth and development!

Download the Resources

All County Letter No. 16-31
Gives an in-depth explanation about RPPS​

 

All County Information Notice No. I-17-13
Answers frequently asked questions (FAQs) about RPPS

Toll-free hotline
1-877-846-1602
fosteryouthhelp@dss.ca.gov
 
MS 8-13-25
744 P Street
Sacramento, CA 95814