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12/21/2014

Foster Care and Adoption E-News

Foster Care and Adoption E-News
December 2014

Encourage your friends and neighbors to watch “A Home for the Holidays” on December 19th at 8:00 p.m. on CBS.  Watch for Children’s Bureau’s Kelly and Jared Williams and their family’s story!

The Hubbard Family Story Continues!

Foster and adoptive parents, Kathy and Doug Hubbard, recently won Children’s Bureau’s Facebook contest for tickets to the 5th Annual Celebrity Chefs & Wine Tasting event in October. We asked Kathy to share their journey with Children’s Bureau that began 25 years ago. This is the continuation of their story from last month.

Tell me about the children you have adopted. (Continued)

After Angela, Matthew came to us in 1997 at three weeks old. He had been abandoned in the hospital right after birth and joined a foster family. He was sick and needed a safe and nurturing family who would nurse him back to health. The social worker called Children’s Bureau to find out if they could find a resource family for him. Matthew ended up in the hospital for a week with a respiratory virus, pneumonia and bronchitis. During that critical time with our new foster son, we fell in love and were able to adopt Matthew when he was two years old in 2000. Matthew is a junior at Arcadia High School and is a blessing to our family.

In 2010, our older three children were in college in Florida and we decided to become a resource family again with Children’s Bureau. Isabella joined our family in December 2010 at eight months old. Her birth mother was a teenager who was pregnant with her second child and who was unable to care for Isabella. It was wonderful to have a baby in the family again and we quickly fell in love with Isabella. We fostered Isabella and adopted her in 2012. She is a bundle of energy and keeps us on our toes all day long!

In 2011, baby Zoey was born and joined our family right from the hospital. Zoey is the baby sister to Isabella. We adopted Zoey in 2013 and she is full of life and love.

In 2012, baby Rose was born in Texas and we knew we needed to reunite her with her biological sisters, Isabella and Zoey, so we started the ICPC process to bring Rose from her current Texas foster home to California to join our family. It took seven long months before Rose joined us in California but she was worth the wait. We can’t imagine our family without Rose.

We also have two biological children; David will be 24 in December, is married and lives in Florida with his wife, Jordan. Jennifer will be 22 in November and just completed her teaching degree.

Tell us how things have changed since the first go around, specifically relating to the PRIDE Model of Practice and in reflection, how your family did the competencies 25 years ago.

Informed decision about willingness – Both trainings prepared us well to become foster parents. We remember that we had several meetings with social workers (both separate and together as a couple) early on in the process to make sure we understood the commitment we were about to undertake and then during the trainings it was important that we both had realistic expectations.

Ability and resources to protect and nurture children – It seems that the current PRIDE training focuses more on empowering future foster parents with the best tools to protect and nurture children. I think that the current training is more comprehensive, but, when we first began this journey, we were also a newly married couple without children and we really didn’t know what we were doing.

Meet developmental needs and address delays – The PRIDE model is more current and addresses normal and delayed child development in a very comprehensive approach. I remember a 1970’s video that was shown during our first training that showed children with FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome) and it painted a very dismal picture about those children. We have four children with mild FAS and I’m thankful that we weren’t scared away by that video. The current training doesn’t sugarcoat the possibility that children we support may have delays, but it does empower parents with skills and understanding to address the possible delays.

Support relationships with birth families – We have always felt that our relationship with the birth family is very important and have placed a high priority on maintaining contact during foster care and even after adoption. Family pictures with birth family and foster family were always taken during special events or even during regular family visits. In our case, all the birth families have been to our home and we have shared meals together. Children’s Bureau has always been a support to us and even helped up facilitate a post-adoption agreement about future visits with a birth father that has lasted over 20 years.

Connect to safe and nurturing relationships intended to last a lifetime – Family and community has always been a hallmark of Children’s Bureau and we have always been encouraged to develop strong ties with the people in our life. We remember the PRIDE training where we took a look at the people in our circle of influence and made time to understand how important these relationships were to the success of our foster care experience. All relationships need to be nurtured to last a lifetime.

Work as a member of a professional team – We have always felt that we were a part of a professional team, but the current PRIDE model takes time to explain this relationship and encourage future foster parents to see that they are the first layer of support and protection for a child who has joined their family. It has been wonderful to work alongside the social workers at Children’s Bureau.

Anything else you’d like to say?

We are very thankful for Children’s Bureau and for all the dedicated people who work so hard to prevent child abuse, support parents, strengthen communities, protect children and invest in the future. Thank you!

Get Rewarded for Referring a Resource Family!

Just a reminder that Children’s Bureau offers a $500 referral fee for each family our certified families refer.  $250 is paid at the time of certification and a second $250 is paid at the time a child joins their new family!  This is our way of thanking you and encouraging you to continue to recruit families who have the ability, willingness and resources to protect and nurture the needs of children.  We have PRIDE in our families and look forward to having you join us.

Also, many thanks to those of you who have referred family, friends, co-workers, church congregations, etc. to learn about our program.  Your effort is greatly appreciated and has a true impact on the lives of children in need.  Keep those referrals coming as we continue to have children in need of a safe and nurturing family.

Please forward this email to someone whom you think would be interested in becoming a resource family!

Children need families today…a referral you make could save a life and impact generations to come.

Info Meetings Monthly for Potential Resource Families

Every child deserves a place to call home, and to have a safe, loving and permanent family.

Children’s Bureau has openings for resource families who will care specifically for children during the reunification process with their parents. There are 64,000 foster children in California alone, 21,000 of those being in Los Angeles County. Of those children living within foster families, 450 of those children are unable to return to their family are waiting now to be connected to a family who will adopt.

Children’s Bureau is seeking strong, caring resource families to consider fostering and foster-adopting these children. Families are also needed for all ages from babies to toddlers, school aged, teenagers, older children and sibling sets. The agency holds monthly information meetings in five locations: Los Angeles (Magnolia Family Place), Santa Clarita, North Hollywood, Carson and Palmdale (see side list of meetings).

Children’s Bureau encourages individuals (single or married) who are interested in helping children find the love, stability and support a family can provide, to contact Children’s Bureau. Qualifying families receive training, certification and support throughout the process of fostering and foster-adopting a child or children.  For more information, call (213) 342-0168, (800) 730-3933 or in Palmdale (661) 208-4212 or visit www.all4kids.org.

For 110 years, Children’s Bureau has been a nonprofit leader in the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect. More than 28,000 children and families are helped each year throughout Southern California with services that include school readiness, parenting classes, family resource centers, support groups, mental health counseling, foster care, foster-adoption and more.

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