Welcome to Five Acres Foster Care and Adoption Services!
In Los Angeles today, more than 20,000 children are awaiting permanent family solutions. In most cases, the goal is to reunify these children with their biological families. When that is not possible, Five Acres helps connect these children with safe, loving foster and foster-adoptive families. As more children enter into the foster care system, we need these families now more than ever. Here are several ways you can get involved:
Emergency Shelter Care (ESC)
Emergency Shelter Care is a temporary, short-term (21 day) placement for children/youth entering foster care. When a suitable long term placement cannot be found, children are placed in homes where the parents are prepared to focus on the immediate medical, social, emotional and educational needs of the child/youth. This program is designed to meet the needs of children in a home environment while a home is located that can help support them through the permanency journey.
Respite Care is service where one family supports another family for a short amount of time ( one day up to one week). This allows for a child’s original home to take time for self-care or family emergencies. Being a respite parent can be an easy way to begin fostering. If you are nervous about fostering, or want to be a support to families who care for children, please apply to be a respite parent for traditional foster care or treatment foster care. The support that is offered through both is priceless.
To “foster” means to help grow and develop, and to take care of someone’s needs. When you become a foster parent, you will be giving a child a safe place to live and grow. The children in foster care have suffered from neglect and abuse and are in need of a family that will walk with them on a journey to healing. This journey often includes helping a child to reunify with their family of origin after their family has received the help and support they need to get their children back. When reunification is not possible, a foster parent can help guide a child into an adoptive home by either being that resource themselves or bridging their care into a permanent family.
Treatment Foster Care
Treatment foster care is a program that offers youth and families the tools they need to be successful in assisting to treat challenging mental, emotional or behavioral needs that are no fault of their own. This program offers clinical interventions with a close supervision of a team that can guide a family toward success in stabilizing a youth’s needs. Treatment parents are offered 30 additional training hours that include intervention specific tools, and a higher reimbursement rate to meet the needs of our youth. We are looking for strong, committed, determined parents who can help turn a life around.
Parents who choose to foster while waiting to adopt from the child welfare system are considered foster-adoptive parents. This process involves fostering a child and following their case until it becomes clear that they can no longer be reunified with their family of origin. At this point, parental rights are terminated and the foster parents move toward becoming the parents of a child/youth in the eyes of the law. There are children at various points in the court process in L.A. County and Five Acres can help guide you with an appropriate match for you.
STEPS TO APPROVAL
Recruiter/Trainer – Ivon Favela
Ivon Favela will help guide you through your exploration of this process by offering you information, conversation and training that will help you decide if the foster or foster-adopt process is for you and your family. Reach out to Ivon and she will help get you started by meeting you for an orientation and discussing the process with you. firstname.lastname@example.org
Approval/Intake Coordinator – Paula Swift
Once you have met Ivon (and in most cases begun training), Paula will support you through the paperwork and clearance process of becoming certified as a foster parent. It’s not a process you have to go through alone—with Paula’s guidance, the paperwork process will be a breeze. She’ll set a time to meet you in your home, introduce herself and assist you through the early steps of home inspection and coordinating a paperwork plan. After approval as a foster family, Paula will continue her support by matching a child to your family.
Home Study Specialist – Amanda Cruse
After receiving guidance throughout the home inspection preparation process, Amanda will sign off on your final home inspection. All home inspections must meet Community Care Licensing, Title 22 regulations. Even in this, you’re never alone. We’ll give you a list at the beginning of the process to help ensure your home passes inspection. And no worries—the “lived in” look is good! It’s primarily floor plan and safety issues that we look for.
Adoption & Adoption Promotion Support Services
In addition to foster care services Five Acres supports our foster families and adoptive families in the community throughout the adoption continuum.
Sometimes the best support comes from someone who has walked in your shoes. The Five Acres Adoption Promotion and Support Services Mentor Program connect parents and children with a mentor who has also experienced adoption. Through spending time together on a monthly basis, mentors and mentees develop strong, meaningful relationships.
If you have experienced adoption as a parent or a child, please consider joining our mentor team today. You’ll make a lasting impact in the lives of children and families in our Adoption Promotion and Support Services program!