On Tuesday, January 30th, 2018 at 8:30 am more than 60 families will assemble at the state capitol to highlight bureaucratic delays and inefficiencies that are making it difficult to provide loving, permanent homes for children who enter foster care. Their hope is to inspire state legislators to make important changes in California law to support families like theirs.
The day will begin with a breakfast for the families at 8:30 am at the California Endowment, 1414 K Street, Sacramento CA 95814. Reporters are invited to meet the families, some including children, and talk to them about the challenges they face in providing children recovering from abuse and neglect in the state’s foster care system. Former foster youth will also be present and available for interviews.
Following the breakfast, the group will hold dozens of one-on-one meetings with state legislators.
The agenda: In 2017, California enacted a set of laws collectively known as Continuum of Care Reform intended to ensure that children in foster care are raised in loving family homes and supported with foster care benefits tailored to their individual needs. The law put into effect numerous changes to the child welfare system that child welfare agencies are still struggling to address. The caregivers visiting the capitol plan to highlight the unintended consequences of these changes. They are asking for:
• An end to protracted delays in funding following the placement of a child with a relative or extended family member, making it difficult to provide for children with exceptional needs;
• A fix for lengthy family approval processes that prevent kids from joining families and exiting foster care to permanency;
• Attention to the additional harm that will befall children and families if the state moves forward with implementing an unreliable rate system that fails to accurately assess and provide for a children’s needs.
Each of the families present is caring for a child who has entered foster care. Some are relative caregivers – aunts, uncles, grandparents and more – who did not expect to be raising a child but have nevertheless stepped up to provide a permanent loving home. Others are non-relative foster parents who have brought children in care into their families through foster care and adoption.