For Immediate ReleaseApril 11, 2016
Marin’s most vulnerable kids need help
San Rafael, CA – On any given day, Marin County averages 80 children in out-of-home care, also known as foster care. But the county only has 35 licensed foster homes. It’s a nightly predicament.
Children come into the child welfare system for a variety of reasons, through no fault of their own. They are among the county’s most vulnerable residents.
“They all need and deserve a safe, loving, and consistent place to live where they can thrive and mature,” said Cindy Wasserman of HHS’ Family Services Division. “As a foster parent you will become an important part of a child’s life by providing a nurturing home to a child or siblings. It’s a rewarding experience for the whole family.”
Foster care doesn’t just change the future of the children in need of a home. It changes the families that take care of them. The 15-year-old son of one of Marin’s foster parents described his experience:
“When I tell people that my family is a foster family, they always say ‘What a great service to the county that is.’ I never saw it that way, though. To me, this little person was my new sibling for six months. Caring for this child wasn’t a service, it was family.
“I am the youngest in my family and I always wanted a little brother. Well, in first grade I got my wish, and my family received a 5-day old named Ricky*. Ricky was my little brother that I could play with, feed, hold and altogether love. Now I’m a 15-year-old who has had many younger foster brothers and sisters and can take care of children from 3 months old to 10 years old.”
Foster parents may be any adult age, of any sexual orientation, and be single or part of a couple – married or not. They must be willing to work as part of a team and provide a safe and consistent home to the children they serve. There is a growing need for Spanish-speaking families and those who can care for sibling groups.
HHS’ Children and Family Services Division offers monthly orientations for anyone who would like more information about foster care. The April 19 orientation will be at the Marin Health and Wellness Campus, 3250 Kerner Blvd., Room 107, San Rafael. A social worker and an experienced foster parent facilitate the meetings and discuss the application process, the training and support available. For more information and future dates, visit www.MarinHHS.org/foster-care or call 415-473-2200.
For accessibility accommodation, please contact us in advance of the event at firstname.lastname@example.org or TTY (415) 473-3232.
*name changed to protect identity
Cindy WassermanChild Welfare WorkerHealth and Human Services
3250 Kerner Blvd.San Rafael, CA 94903(415) 473-5028Email: Cindy WassermanMarin HHS website