For Immediate ReleaseOctober 02, 2017
Orientation scheduled to inform, dispel myths about hosting a foster child
San Rafael, CA – On any given day, Marin County averages 70 children in out-of-home care, also known as foster care. Right now that number is 73, and nearly 30 percent of them are placed in homes outside of Marin.
The Marin County Recruitment Collaborative seeks to raise awareness about the children and youth in foster care who need a home in our community. The Marin County Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which coordinates foster care in the county, is appealing to anyone who has considered providing a temporary home to a child while their family works toward reunification.
The next monthly orientation for potential resource families (formerly known as foster parents) will be from 7-8:30 p.m. Thursday, October 19, at the Marin Health and Wellness Campus, 3240 Kerner Boulevard, Room 110, San Rafael.
The children who come into the child welfare system are among the county’s most vulnerable residents. Foster homes are temporary places to stay, while adoptive homes are forever, but both should be loving and safe environments where children learn to give and receive love. When a court decides a child cannot safely return home, an adoptive home offers them a permanent, stable loving family.
Caregiving adults are responsible for meeting the foster child’s basic needs. Foster placements and most adoptive placements are eligible for financial support to assure that the needs of these children are being met.
“Every effort is made to keep foster children in their own community, to keep siblings together, and to create good matches between kids and families,” said Leslie Fields, an HHS Child Welfare Worker. “In order to do that, we need a larger, more diverse pool of foster homes. For those 30 percent of children from Marin who are living outside of Marin, we’d like help in returning those kids home.”
Lesia, one of Marin County’s resource parents, said the majority of children involved in foster care are in the system due to no fault of their own. Often they are hurting and just want a fresh start, an opportunity to thrive.
“They are excited to have a fresh perspective on life and to learn new things,” Lesia said. “It's so rewarding to hear how we have impacted their lives in a few short months, things that they will take with them for the rest of their lives. … I would encourage anyone who has love to give, security, encouragement and faith, to consider being a foster parent. You don’t have to be perfect, you just have to care.”
The Marin County Recruitment Collaborative is comprised Marin HHS, Aldea Children and Family Services, Alternative Family Services, Marin Foster Care Association, Seneca and TLC Child and Family Services.
The County’s Children and Family Services, a division of HHS, offers monthly orientations for anyone who would like more information about foster care. After the October 19 meeting, the next orientation dates will be Wednesday, November 15, and Tuesday, December 5. A social worker and an experienced resource parent facilitate the meetings and discuss the application process, training and support available.
To learn more and see future dates, visit www.FosterOurFutureMarin.org or call 415-473-2200. For accessibility accommodation, email firstname.lastname@example.org or TTY (415) 473-3232.
Leslie FieldsChild Welfare WorkerHealth and Human Services
3250 Kerner Blvd.San Rafael, CA 94903(415) 473-6418Email: Leslie FieldsMarin HHS website