Fostering a world of love for youth in need this Foster Care Month
Aspiranet leads the charge in foster care recruitment through Continuum of Care Reform
It takes a village to raise a child. For children in foster care, the need to surround them with people who will provide unwavering love and commitment is even more vital to ensure they're given the opportunity to grow in an uplifting environment that all children deserve. For Foster Care Month, we not only shed a light on the over 400,000 children and youth throughout the United States in foster care, we also celebrate the "village" of people who help foster youth find permanent homes and connections.
According to KidsData.org, more than 62,000 children in California are in foster care. As new rules call for elevated levels of expertise and dedication and provide more help for new foster parents, human services agency Aspiranet (https://www.aspiranet.org/) strengthens its commitment to recruit quality foster parents and to share stories highlighting the inspiring ways foster families impact youth in need.
From the moment they became a couple, Cinthya and Marco Valenzuela of Woodlake knew they wanted to become foster parents one day. They made a promise that once Cinthya became a stay-at-home mom they'd dedicate more time to raising their daughter and caring for foster children. It's been two-and-a-half years since they started their foster care journey and the decision has been the most gratifying yet. Keeping siblings together is a strong priority for the Valenzuelas, and they have opened their home to sibling sets to preserve the vital familial bond during children's' transition into foster care. The couple currently fosters three siblings.
"The emotions children and youth experience when they enter foster care can be traumatic, and keeping foster youth together with their siblings can lessen the impact and help them feel more safe," said Cinthya. "They already lose their home, parents, and sometimes have to leave their schools. We could not bear to see these children have to lose their siblings as well."
Now more than ever, the need to recruit more foster families is imperative with the recent implementation of AB 403, which went into effect January 1, 2017. The law mandating Continuum Care Reform (CCR) limits the time foster youth can spend in a group home settings and requires them to be transitioned into home settings, as research strongly supports that children do best in family environments.
Aspiranet is one of the earliest adopters of CCR, which puts the nonprofit at the forefront of child welfare best practices. Through its holistic, family-focused approach, Aspiranet's unique breadth and depth of services for children and youth, from birth to childhood, help more than 10,000 children in families thrive per year.
"Aspiranet's strengthening families framework serves as a best practice model for the directives set forth by AB 403," said Diane Warne, foster care director for Aspiranet. "The new mandates have inspired us to double-down in our mission to seek more quality foster parents so that no child is left without a nurturing home environment."
For more information about fostering with Aspiranet, visit www.aspiranet.org.
Aspiranet is a 501(c) (3), California nonprofit organization with the mission of providing children, youth, and families with a foundation of support and services so they can succeed at home, at school, and in their communities. Aspiranet offers a unique blend of services including foster family support, adoption through foster care, services for foster youth transitioning to adulthood, mental health services, residential care, intensive home-based care, and community-based family resources. For more than 40 years, Aspiranet has been dedicated to offering outstanding services that impact more than 35,000 children, youth and parents at 33 community-based sites statewide. For more information, visit www.aspiranet.org
Aspiranet is a 501(c) (3), California nonprofit organization with the mission of providing children, youth, and families with a foundation of support and services so they can succeed at home, at school, and in their communities.
Apr 11, 2017