The Stanislaus County Community Services Agency and Love All Our Kids are partnering together to find more homes for the area’s foster youth, which has reached the highest level ever seen in Stanislaus County.
The two organizations will be hosting a Every Child Matters event from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Feb. 22 at 820 H St. in Modesto. The event primarily is for people interested in becoming foster parents.
“It is a recruitment event, but also a way to engage the community and help them understand the need we have for foster families in the community,” said Stanislaus County Child Welfare Manager Amie Prutch.
Stanislaus County has more than 800 children in the foster care system.
“That’s the highest we’ve ever had,” Prutch said.
The event will include a panel of former foster care youth discussing their experiences in the foster care system.
“They can offer a unique perspective,” said Crystal McKiernan, the director of Love All Our Kids. “This event is an opportunity to educate people. There are a lot of preconceived notions about the foster care system and this is a chance to dispel some of those myths.”
Stanislaus County utilizes three different categories of foster care. The first is a receiving home, which are ready anytime of day or night and serve as a temporary shelter for children. The stays in these homes don’t exceed 30 days and are used until a family member can take custody of the child or a child is matched with a foster family.
The foundation of the foster care system are the families that serve as regular foster parents for children. In these homes the aim is to integrate the children into the family setting as much as possible and provide them with a stable and nurturing environment until the time they can reunite with their family, if possible.
“There is a great need for foster parents to work as mentors with the biological families,” Prutch said. “During the reunification time it’s very important to have a mentor to help show them the way and help the child through the process.”
The third type of foster care home is a county licensed facility or group home and is used for children who have physical or emotional needs that need specialized care.
The Community Services Agency offers training sessions twice a month for individuals or couples interested in becoming foster parents.
The Every Child Matters event will have childcare available. To register for the event visit lovemodesto.com.