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DR Grantee Santa Cruz County
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DR Grantee Santa Cruz County






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DR Grantee Santa Cruz County Presentation Transcript

  • 1.  
  • 2. Roots and Wings Finding Permanent Homes for Foster Children in Santa Cruz County California
  • 3.
    • There are two lasting gifts we can give our children, one is roots the other is wings.
          • -Holding Carter
  • 4. Key Components
    • Purpose:
      • Support foster children to develop strong roots in their families, communities and cultures and provide them opportunities or “wings” to thrive
    • Target Populations:
      • 2 Neighborhood areas
      • Older youth
    • Organizational Culture Shift:
      • Our job is to support resource parents to provide lifelong connections for children
  • 5. Santa Cruz County: Who We Are
    • Central coast of California
    • Approximately a quarter million people
    • Two thirds of the adult population is white and one third is Hispanic/Latino
    • One quarter of residents speak a language other than English (mainly Spanish)
    • Major industries are tourism and agriculture
    • Economic challenges include high housing costs, un- and under-employment rates, and state budget cuts
  • 6. What We Face
    • Resource Parents need more support
      • Not enough on-going financial help to meet children’s needs
      • Expressed need for more respect for foster parent’s role
      • Reported need for practical help accessing support services
    • Permanency and placement outcomes need improvement
      • Not always placed within community of origin
      • Permanency measures for older youth indicate need for improvement
  • 7. Of all children in foster care for 24 months or longer, what percent were discharged to a permanent home prior to turning 18?
  • 8. Where We Want To Go
    • Implement a comprehensive, multi-faceted diligent recruitment program
      • Assess current practices and develop a plan.
      • Increase the available pool of concurrent and adoptive parents to be reflective of the children in care.
      • Ensure that resource parents are satisfied.
      • Ensure that children who have been in care are transitioned to permanent homes.
    • Evaluate the program and disseminate information
      • Assess program effectiveness
      • Disseminate evaluation information
  • 9. How We Can Get There
    • Profiles of Children and Resource parents
    • Practice Assessments and Policy Development
      • Concurrent Planning
      • Recruitment & Licensing
      • Customer Service
    • Community Mapping
  • 10. What We Will Do
    • Initial Recruitment
      • General Recruitment and Awareness
        • Partner with business/organizations
        • Family friendly orientations
      • Targeted Recruitment
        • Build and support new relationships in two identified areas
        • Neighborhood based recruitment and support events
      • Child Specific
        • Adoptive home searches for children 12 and over who have been in care 18 months or more.
      • Customer Service Driven Licensing
  • 11. More Of What We Will Do
    • Retention and Support
      • One on One Support
        • Resource Parent Specialist
        • Community Based Liaisons
        • Permanency Partner
      • Additional Supports
        • Volunteer Network “Wings”
        • Support access to existing resource parent mentors
        • Permanency Fund
      • Adoption Support
  • 12. Challenges and Opportunities We May Face
    • Multiple experts
    • Community opinions and desires may be different from plans
    • Integration of efforts throughout division
    • Shrinking Family and Children’s Services staff
  • 13. What we want to learn
    • What were the new services and programs?
    • Did the efforts improve the processes within the Family and Children’s Services?
    • Did the improved processes lead to better outcomes for children and families served?
  • 14. Questions?