If you’ve ever had a calling to make a difference in the world, there’s no greater way than making a difference in a child’s life.
Among the most vulnerable members of communities across the country are foster children. These are children who, based on life circumstances, face conditions at home that threaten their health and safety. In these cases, a parent is unable to provide a safe environment or meet the child’s basic needs, resulting in removal from the home and placement into the temporary custody of a foster family until a safe home environment can be restored.
The numbers of children in foster care are staggering. Los Angeles County alone has 30,000 children in the foster care system. The four other counties HFS services follow accordingly: San Bernardino County (5,500); Riverside County (4,000); Orange County (3,000); Ventura County (1,500). It goes without saying that the need for foster parents is great.
Like you, HFS believes that every child deserves a safe and stable environment for personal growth and development. Becoming a foster parent is one way to ensure that children get that opportunity.
Many imagine that fostering a youth usually means taking in a teenager, but there is great need to foster children under the age of 5 years. Sometimes this includes accepting siblings to minimize the emotional trauma that comes with temporary family separation.
One of HFS’ primary partners, Centinela Hospital, usually has a dozen newborns ready for discharge with no foster home available. Fostering a child or set of siblings might be as short as a few days or as long as several months, and possibly years, depending on the family’s circumstances.
HFS provides the training and support services necessary to get you certified to become a foster parent. Please check out our website for more details on fostering at www.hfs.org.
We encourage you to take a moment and consider how you can make a permanent and positive impact on a child’s life and give them a second chance for a healthier and happier childhood.
Julie Brown, MSW