Childhelp Foster Family and Adoption Programs of California
The emotions of overhearing him casually and securely refer to you as ‘My Mom and Dad’ to a friend, long before he does to your face. And when he does finally let it slip to you, to watch the shy smile of hope come over his face, knowing he is accepted and okay here.
~ Foster parent
Thousands of children each year need to be placed in homes where they can feel safe and secure and can receive the care and nurturing that they are not currently receiving in their home environments. For over 20 years, Childhelp’s Foster Family and Adoption Programs of California has been connecting loving families with children by actively recruiting, certifying and training foster/adoptive families in Southern California. From its offices in Hollywood and Redlands, critical services can be offered and provided to children most in need. Currently, there are more than 100,000 children in California’s foster care system. Childhelp provides both foster care and adoption services to youth and families. Childhelp also completes S.A.F.E. adoption home studies and assists families in preparing for adoptive placement.
“Home is not where you live, but where they understand you.”
Through the Childhelp Foster Family and Adoption Agency foster/adoptive families are taught skills to provide a safe and loving home for children unable to live with their families/guardians. The agency provides foster family recruitment and certification through foster-home screening and study to ensure that the foster parents can deliver adequate care for the foster children placed in their care. Each foster/adoptive child welcomed into Childhelp’s Foster Family and Adoption Agency has access to a well qualified clinical coordinator who provides weekly case management and individual or family counseling. Crisis intervention services are also provided throughout a child’s stay with a foster family. A child’s medical, dental, developmental and educational needs are monitored on a regular basis. Once a child is placed in a home, Childhelp is committed to providing assistance and community-based program referrals to the entire family as deemed necessary.
Going the Distance
While some foster parents are open to the idea of adopting or pursuing legal guardianship of the children placed in their care, all families know and understand that Childhelp is committed to supporting the reunification of children with their guardians. The Foster Family and Adoption Agency works with guardians in a number of ways. A clinical coordinator and/or foster parent supervises family visits during which positive parenting techniques are suggested or demonstrated to assist guardians in connecting with their child in a healthy manner. Foster parents interact with the child’s guardians to help the child feel accepted and to give the guardians insight into the quality of care being provided to their child. Childhelp coordinates respite for the foster families during times of need, enabling the foster parents to seek support from other foster families. Childhelp also hosts fun family events during the year and provides foster families and children with locally donated items/products.
What does it take to be a foster parent?
- Ability to provide a secure and nurturing home.
- Be part of partnership between the child’s social worker, therapist, teachers and physicians.
- Completion of 30–38 hours of training
- Commitment, understanding, patience and the willingness to accept and provide guidance to children with diverse backgrounds and challenges.
- Provide consistent, fair and age appropriate guidance for children.
- Potential foster/adoptive parents are screened through a series of interviews, background checks, training, and home interviews.
- Be 21 years of age or older
- Be married or single
- Be a resident of the State of California
- Be employed or have a source of viable income
- Have space in your home for a child
- Have a working automobile and auto insurance, as well as home owners or renter’s insurance.
What will the Childhelp Foster Family and Adoption Agency Provide?
- Free foster/adoptive parent training so you can earn the hours you need to become certified as a therapeutic foster/adoptive home.
- Once certified, ongoing training to help you be a successful foster/adoptive parent
- Individual counseling for each foster/adoptive child.
- 24-hour on call support services for emergency situations.
- Respite care to give you a break when you need one
- Financial stipend of up to $800 a month per foster child to cover the cost of bringing a child or teen in need into your home. This covers expenses such as food, housing, clothing, transportation, personal care, recreation and allowance (Funds are not taxable as income.)
- Referral (financial) incentive for referring new interested families to foster or adopt.
What is the next step?
If you have any additional questions or if you would like to apply to become a foster or adoptive parent, please call the Childhelp Foster Family and Adoption Agency of California at 909-335-1164. Orientations are held weekly at Redlands, Los Angeles offices and out in the community.
- Group counseling for foster youth, & family counseling for both foster and adoptive families.
- Transportation assistance is offered when available to take the foster children to court appointments, visitations with guardians, siblings, etc.
- Monthly foster parent support groups/training.
- Childhelp provides counseling for children placed in foster care to assist children with their adjustment to living away from their guardians.
- For each year of foster care service, Childhelp provides and pays foster care families with an increasing amount of days of paid respite care. This allows foster parents to obtain childcare for up to five days of planned (e.g., vacation) or unplanned (e.g., family emergency) time for each foster child under their care without the financial burden.
- One of the approved sites for rotation of interns and residents from a local teaching hospital and university (Loma Linda University), and also USC and other schools.
- Childhelp is able to serve children from various California counties including Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Imperial County and Orange County.