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Children’s Bureau launches Zoom orientation for potential foster families

Children playing outside of a Children's Bureau location.
(Courtesy of the Children’s Bureau)

Since COVID-19 has brought all in-person foster care-adoption resource parent orientations to a halt, the Children’s Bureau is now offering a virtual way for residents to learn about becoming foster or foster-adopt parents.

The Children’s Bureau team announced, via press release, plans to host a live Zoom orientation for individuals or couples who are interested in learning more about becoming resource parents on Sept. 16 from 4 to 5 p.m. Virtual orientations are also scheduled for Oct. 21, Nov. 18 and Dec. 16.

For those unable to virtually attend the scheduled Zoom orientations, a PowerPoint orientation will be made available to those who send a request to rfrecruitment@all4kids.org.

As resource parents, individuals must be prepared to foster and adopt a child, although not all resource parents adopt. Foster parenting or family foster care usually lasts for a temporary period of time that ranges from a few weeks to a year or more, and in the best cases the children are eventually reunited with their parents or relatives.

Becoming a foster-adoptive parent can mean creating a safe space for a child to grow up in if they are unable to return to their birth parents or relatives.

The pandemic has increased the need for foster and foster-adoptive parents to help local at-risk youth stay in their communities. Siblings are in particular need of families willing to take in more than one child and keep them together. According to the press release, at least 10 sibling sets are turned away each week due to a lack of willing families.

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In a YouTube video provided by the agency, a married couple identified as Brittany and Jeremy extol the virtues of being a foster parent. It “lets you help someone in their time of need,” Brittany says. “You’re the support system for a child and for their parents.” . The couple also has three biological children of their own.

The bureau’s press release notes all individuals are welcome to apply to become a resource parent, regardless of race, age, religion, disability, marital status, ethnic background, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Qualifying families will receive training and support from the Children’s Bureau, including a pre-service training program where residents have the chance to develop skills needed to foster and foster-adopt. Family development specialists and social workers are made available to resource parents.

In addition, the Children’s Bureau provides financial support by way of a monetary stipend and Medi-Cal to assist in the children’s care.

“Children’s Bureau has been there to help get us through the challenging times and to celebrate the special moments, especially when the adoption of our two children was finalized,” Jeremy explains in the video.

The Children’s Bureau is a nonprofit agency helping 50,000 at-risk children and parents each year throughout Los Angeles and Orange counties. Foster Care and Adoption Programs are available in Kern, Orange, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles counties. For more information, visit all4kids.org.

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