Published : Wednesday, May 2, 2018 | 8:26 PM
Los Angeles County has planned a series of events intended to attract more families willing to mentor, foster or adopt children during this National Foster Care Month, including a meeting on Sunday, May 6, at All Saints Church in Pasadena.
Five Acres, one of the oldest nonprofits in Los Angeles, will be holding a one-and-a-half-hour session, starting at 12:30 p.m., where foster parents will be on hand to talk about their experiences.
Neil Zanville, a spokesman for the county’s Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), said roughly 500 children are waiting to be adopted into a loving home in Los Angeles.
Through no fault of their own, they find that their world has been turned upside down,” Zanville told MyNewsLA. “But they’re capable of accomplishing great things if they have someone who is there for them.”
Foster More, a coalition of not for profit organizations and foundations working to raise awareness of the youth in America’s foster care system, has also started playing a video, “Because You Were There,” at the Los Angeles International Airport this month, sharing the gratitude of former foster youth whose lives have been touched by community members who stepped up to support them during a challenging time.
In addition to permanent adoptive families, DCFS is also looking for “resource parents” – foster families willing to take a child into their home even though the child may ultimately return to his or her biological parents when it is safe to do so. Zanville said resource parents are needed most for sibling groups and older youth ages 16 to 18.
DCFS also has a weekend program, Kidsave, which offers the chance for families to act as a mentor and get to know teens. Like all children, teens need the stability and connection that a family offers, even as they are establishing their independence and growing into adulthood, Zanville said.
Sunday’s session at All Saints Church, at 132 N. Euclid Avenue, is part of the 10th Annual All Saints Foster Care Project Art Show, taking place in Sweetland Hall from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The art show will feature almost 40 wonderful works of art by foster children and youth along with those of young adults who have transitioned out of foster care. The Art represents the hard work of art teachers and their students in programs at local foster agencies including Five Acres, Hathaway-Sycamores, Hillsides, Maryvale, and My Friend’s Place.
Jessie Castillo, a professional artist and former foster youth, will also be displaying his art.
Foster youth artists in the art show receive 100 percent of the price of their artwork. Last year’s Art Show sold out by 11 a.m.