National Foster Care Month

Posted by on Apr 29, 2012 in News | 0 comments

Nearly 16,000 Los Angeles Area Children are
Currently in Foster Care

May is National Foster Care Month—an ideal time to consider making a difference

in the life of a youngster in need.

 

By Renée LaBran, Chair, Board of Directors
Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services

As the mother of two teenage sons, each of whom I carried for nine months, and with whom I have shared virtually every day since, it is almost inconceivable to me that there currently are nearly 16,000 Los Angeles area children who have been removed from the homes of their biological parents. Even more tragic are the reasons behind such removals—reasons that all too frequently include unimaginable abuse and unforgiveable neglect.

Similarly, my sons—who have only known the stability of a loving home and the safety of our close-knit La Cañada community—would find it equally inconceivable to find themselves living somewhere other than with  their father and me. Yet, this is precisely the position in which some 60,000 youngsters in California—along with more than 400,000 nationwide—find themselves.

The heart-wrenching issue of children in foster care is on my mind for two reasons: 1) May is National Foster Care Month; and 2) I’m serving as Chair of Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services’ Board of Directors. For those unfamiliar, Hathaway-Sycamores is Los Angeles County’s largest provider of children’s mental-health and other support services. Many of those served by the agency are foster youth who are either living in residential care at Hathaway-Sycamores’ El Nido campus or with one of our foster families.

The need for foster families is particularly pressing, and I am urging anyone who has ever considered opening their heart and home to a foster child to contact Hathaway-Sycamores at (626) 243-9043 or e-mail Susan Fierberg. It’s important to know that foster families come in many forms—different races, lifestyles, income and education levels, married, single—to cite just a few examples. It’s also important to know that Hathaway-Sycamores trains, certifies, supervises and supports its foster families, including weekly social-worker visits along with virtually any in-home services that are needed. Additionally, foster parents—as well as those who adopt foster children—receive a monthly stipend for providing care.

If foster parenting isn’t for you, there are numerous other ways that you can brighten these youngsters’ lives. Hathaway-Sycamores offers many volunteer opportunities and is always in needs of donations—particularly during the December holidays. For additional information about these opportunities, contact Andi Sica at (626) 395-7100 ext. 2516 or e-mail Andi Sica. With the support of caring community members, foster children can heal, thrive and rebuild their lives.

 

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