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DR Grantee Santa Cruz County

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DR Grantee Santa Cruz County

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

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