Placement Unit

Juvenile Courthouse

Juvenile Justice Campus (JJC)
3333 E. American Ave. Building 701 Suite B
Fresno, CA. 93725 map
Days: Monday - Friday
Hours: 8:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M
(559) 600-4700


The Juvenile Placement Unit finds appropriate and suitable placement for youth who are on probation but are unable to return home due circumstances involving the safety and wellbeing of the youth. Placement orders, referred to in WIC 727(a), are only made after a careful judicial review of the circumstances and through an established court process. Out of home placement is not a commitment or a form of punishment.

Level of care

Based on the individual level of care needed, youth may be placed with a relative through the Resource Family Approval (RFA) process, foster home, or Short Term Residential Therapeutic Program (STRTP- formerly known as a group home). This decision is reached after a Child and Family Team (CFT) meeting occurs, which is facilitated by a Focus Forward Social Worker. Various support systems, including representation from Education and Mental Health, are present during the CFT meeting and provide input and resources for the youth and their families. The CFT is a youth and family centered process, where the youth’s needs are the focus of finding an appropriate and suitable placement.
The primary goal for youth in care is to ensure their safety and establish permanency for the youth in the shortest time frame possible. An in-depth case plan provides a targeted approach to meeting the youth’s goals.  Dependent upon circumstances, permanency may be found with the youth’s parent, legal guardian or relative. For others, where this is not an option, a goal for Another Planned Permanent Living Arrangement may be more appropriate and the assigned officer works with the youth to prepare for Independent Living. Youth nearing age 18 or who are already 18 years old may participate in AB12 services. The services help the youth with case management services, transitional housing, and financial assistance to meet their needs and goals.


All youth are supervised in their placement by an assigned Deputy Probation Officer and are seen on a monthly basis. While meeting with the youth on their caseloads, the officers work with the youth and family to help achieve identified goals and court ordered conditions of probation. The officer also acts as a support system for the youth and their families if any concerns regarding their care arises. The officers assigned to the youth’s case are trained in Evidence Based Practices, such as EPICS. The officer utilizes the skills learned in their training to help the youth on a cognitive level to learn new skills that help lessen their risk factors and increase their pro-social choices. In addition to training specific to addressing criminogenic needs, the officers assigned to the Placement Unit also participate in Placement Core training (within one year of being assigned to the unit), which helps familiarize them with the foster care system, trauma-informed approaches, and a laws pertaining to youth in foster care. 
The outcomes and progress for each youth is provided to the court at various hearings throughout the youth’s grant of probation.

Placement Frequently Asked Questions

What is Placement?

Placement is a status ordered by the court when it becomes necessary for the safety or wellbeing of a youth or their families. Out of home placement is not a commitment or a form of punishment. Placement orders, referred to in WIC 727(a), are only made after a careful judicial review of the circumstances and through an established court process. These orders allow the youth to be placed in a foster care type setting, similar to the standard used by the Department of Social Services.  Placement facilities (Resource Family Approval (RFA) placements, tribal member, foster homes and Short-Term Residential Treatment Programs- STRTP’s) are often residences located throughout our community. These residences/facilities are not locked facilities, but they do offer adult supervision. Each residence/ facility is evaluated and must meet specific safety standards and require state licensing and approvals.

For youth in out of home care, family reunification efforts are made continually in the hopes of keeping the youth in the safest and least restrictive possible environment. The assigned Deputy Probation Officer will work with the youth and their families to offer services in order to help the reunification process.  The period in which a youth is in out of home care can range and depends on the specific family dynamics for each youth and/ or the youth’s progress in treatment; however, out of home placement orders are frequently reviewed and only remain in effect if reunification cannot safely be achieved.

Youth nearing the age of 18 are made aware of and are afforded the opportunity to voluntarily participate in AB12 services, also referred to as Extended Foster Care (ECF). These supportive services help the youth remove barriers to successful employment/education and transition them to an independent living goal.  Youth are eligible for services if they had out of home placement orders in effect upon their 18th birthday. They can start receiving services once they meet the minimum qualifications. DPOs provide assistance for the youth to access and manage the eligible services.  The services help the youth with case management services, transitional housing, and financial assistance to meet their needs. These services are afforded to the youth up until the age of 21 years of age if they maintain compliance in the program, which include attending school, being employed or actively participating in a program that helps them remove barriers to successful employment.

What types of placements are youth eligible for upon being removed by the Court and placed into foster care?

In order of priority, consideration for placement shall be:

  1. In the home of a parent/ legal guardian, with wraparound services.
  2. Relative’s home via approval through the Resources Family Approval process.
  3. Tribal member (if applicable)
  4. Foster Family Agency
  5. Short-Term Residential Treatment Program

Where is the Placement Unit located?

Juvenile Justice Campus (JJC)
3333 E. American Ave. Fresno, CA. 93725 map
Building 701 Suite B
Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Phone: (559) 600- 3996


How long is my child on probation for?

A placement youth is on probation until Further Order of the Court. The youth’s case is frequently reviewed for progress and supervision terminates when probation intervention is no longer required.

What is the Independent Living Program (ILP)?

This program offers services to youth, ages 14 to 21, who are in foster care in Fresno County. This population includes Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) 300 dependents and WIC 602 wards of the Juvenile Court System. The goals of the Independent Living Program are to enable eligible youth to achieve maximum self-sufficiency and independence prior to leaving the foster care system, by providing independent living skills assessments, education, training, services, and a written Transitional Living Plan. ILP staff provide assessment services, independent living skills counseling, referrals to community-based organizations, ILP training for Department staff and care providers, and coordination of youth involvement in the California Youth Connection. The program is committed to providing independent living services to our youth in order to increase the likelihood of their successful transition from foster care to independent and self-sufficient adults.

How soon can my child come home?

It depends on the youth’s needs and his/her progress with treatment modalities/counseling in the placement program. Parent participation in the youth’s case plan is also a component of reunification. Youth will be returned to their home when it is safe and the deficiencies which necessitated the removal of the youth have been corrected, or when the minor has achieved maximum benefit from services provided by the Placement Unit. When reunification is not possible, a permanent plan or emancipation with independent living will be developed.

Are there other agencies that can help probation foster youth?

Yes, here are a list of agencies:

  • California State Office of the Foster Care Ombudsman 1-877-846-1602

    770 East Shaw Avenue, Suite 330, M.S. 29-02
    Fresno, CA 93710
    559) 243-8080 FAX: (559) 243-8088
    Counties: Alpine, Fresno, Inyo, Kings, Madera, Mariposa,
    Merced, Mono and Tulare

    Center Mall Court
    2011 Fresno Street, Suite 301
    Fresno, California 93721
    Phone (559) 265-4003
    Fax (559) 265-4005
    Fresno County Department of Children and Family Services
    Independent Living Program 559 453-6689