Children’s Bureau faces difficulty placing children during pandemic, seeks foster parents in Orange County
A nonprofit that runs a foster care and adoption agency is seeking new foster parents in Orange County.
The Children’s Bureau, which serves about 48,000 at-risk children and families in Orange and Los Angeles counties, hasn’t been able to hold in-person orientations for prospective foster parents due to the pandemic. The nonprofit has seen a small decline in the number of new foster parents.
The nonprofit said it has had to turn away at least 10 sets of siblings weekly due to the deficit of foster families. Older children are also facing difficulty finding homes in the foster care system.
The nonprofit, whose Orange County locations are in Anaheim and Santa Ana, runs a foster care and adoption agency with Los Angeles County, though they will take foster parents from Orange County.
The Children’s Bureau will host a virtual orientation from 4 to 5 p.m. March 18, when attendees will be able to learn the details of becoming a foster parent.
Melissa Yunk, the nonprofit’s communications specialist, said the Children’s Bureau has faced various hurdles during the pandemic.
The nonprofit shifted its child abuse prevention and mental health services to virtual programming.
The organization has also had to adapt to school closures.
“Many of the children that receive our services are referred through their schools, their school counselors or their after-school program counselors — the people that see them and interact with them daily and can see their behavioral patterns,” Yunk said. “Having kids not in school, and not in the after-school programs, that has cut down a lot of how we are able to get referrals and get these kids services what they need.”
The nonprofit is finding different ways to reach children who may need their help through online advertising and outreach on Facebook and other websites.
Many of these children could be in abusive homes, which is only exacerbated by the stressors of the pandemic, Yunk said.
“Being stuck at home can put children at a higher risk of abuse,” Yunk said. “Our largest struggle throughout the pandemic is figuring out how to reach the kids that could benefit from our services while they’re stuck at home.”
To reserve a spot in the orientation or to request a PowerPoint orientation, email email@example.com. For more information, visit all4kids.org.
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