If you are not ready or able to become an adoptive or foster parent or have already adopted, there are other ways you can help.
Help your Faith-Based Organization (FBO) get involved with helping our children. Below are “Eight Ways Your FBO Can Help Find Connections for Waiting Children”
- Become a Court Appointed Special Advocate through CASA of Los Angeles- CASA of Los Angeles is a non-profit organization that trains and supports community members to serve as volunteer advocates for children in the foster care system. CASA volunteers work with a child, gathering information and making recommendations to the dependency court about how to serve the child’s best interests. CASA volunteers visit the child with whom they are paired, interact with professionals, investigate issues that the court has identified as needing further inquiry, and make recommendations to the court. Volunteers focus on educational needs, permanent placement, medical treatment, and other resources necessary for a successful future. For more information, please visit www.casala.org or call (323) 859-2888.
- Become an Ambassador through our Recruitment Ambassador Program- Foster and Adoptive Parents go out into the community to help recruit and then support new families. They are rewarded for every family they bring to DCFS that is approved as a resource parent. To learn more, call Ivonne Crescioni at (626) 229-3778.
- Become a Volunteer through our Hope Driving Program - We recruit, train, and approve volunteers that drive our youth to various events to help them build relationships and connections with adults. To learn more, call Christina Delight at (310) 972-3286.
- Become a Weekend Host Family through Kidsave Weekend Miracles - Spend quality time getting to know a foster youth, introduce them to your circle of friends and family, and help them find a permanent family. To learn more, call Sybill at Kidsave at (310) 642-7283 or visit www.kidsave.org.
- Become a Church Advocate through Covenant for Kids – This program matches children in need of connections with a church. Members of the church are trained to work with a youth and transport that youth to various events. The Volunteers will help the church ‘adopt’ the youth and help find the youth make permanent connections. To learn more, call Sharon Morris at (562)497-3542.
Start with something easy. Ask your FBO to post at least one of our posters and ensure that our brochures are available to the congregation.
Willing to do a little more, but still want something simple? Have your FBO allow us to send a monthly photo and biography of a waiting child that your FBO would feature in your Sunday bulletins and any on-line newsletters.
Here’s another easy idea. Create a ‘Pray for Birthday Campaign”.
We can identify about 5-10 individual children and sibling groups and give one or more of your FBO groups (such as a bible class or ministry) their photos and bios and birthday day month and ask that your group pray that these children will have a family or permanent connection by their next birthday.
We also ask the group to advocate and engage others to pray and advocate for these children in helping them find a family.
We will provide quarterly updates on what is happening in the children’s lives.
Want to add another step? How about giving those kids a birthday party (some have never even had one) and invite families interested in knowing more about the children.
We’re still doing ‘easy’ and one more easy way to let families know about our children is to have our Heart Gallery of waiting children prominently exhibited in your FBO. It can be displayed any length of time, from a few days to a few weeks.
Step it up with the Heart Gallery which is a stirring and unique portrait exhibit of adoptable children sharing the same dream of having a “Forever Family” and really make an impact by asking your Faith Leader to do a "call to action’’ and give a sermon about how important it is for their congregation to help our children by being a permanent connection, adopting or helping them find an adoptive family.
Really want to get involved? You can also promote and host an adoption matching event at your church. We cover the costs!
After the sermon, and along with an article or ad in your bulletin, sign up interested families to attend an information meeting.
After the information meeting, host a small event where prospective families and waiting children can do activities together and get to know each other in a comfortable and child-friendly setting. We can work with you to arrange the activities and refreshments. We will also arrange for the supervision and transportation of the children.
We can then sign up families to take the next step in the adoption homestudy process.
Have your FBO make a commitment to a youth through our Covenant for Kids program.
We identify a youth or sibling group that would like to attend one or more activities at your church.
You identify a few families that are willing to commit to transporting the youth to church activities and ensure that he or she gets involved in the church activities that interest the youth. The families will advocate helping find a family or permanent connection for the youth.
We will interview, train, and run clearances on the families wanting to provide transportation.
Of course the best way to be involved is to help your congregation members become foster or adoptive parents!
Take the step to do one or all of the above activities and help a child build connections that will positively impact his or her life forever. To lean more, call Ivonne Crescioni at (626) 229-3778.
To donate to the Adoption Trust Fund please contact:
Dina Stuhl, Children's Services Administrator I
Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services
Adoption and Permanency Resources Division
3530 Wilshire Boulevard, 5th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90010