Foster Care System
California has a history of rising enrollment for children in the foster care system, according to statistics from Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS), Children’s Bureau of Administration for Children and Families, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2021). In 2015, there were 270,000 children in care. In 2016, just one year later that number almost doubled to 437,465. Two years later in 2018, there was a small drop with 437,283 in care. These numbers represent a growing concern, as there are currently too few certified homes to place foster children. Guiding Light FFA can help alleviate this burden. Once operational, Guiding Light staff is ready to utilize their experience and knowledge to certify homes and place children. Guiding Light will then continuously monitor these children to assure they are being well cared for while the resource parents are held to licensing standards.
Additionally, our Guiding Light staff has collaborated with mental health professionals, educational authorities, community advocates, local government and the UCLA Rain program, which serves indigenous populations to address undeserved populations in meeting their placement needs. Unfortunately, this is something most agencies do not involve themselves in. Moreover, Guiding Light plans to accommodate Intensive Services Foster Care (ISFC), which is another population that not all foster agencies accommodate. Our staff has experience and knowledge in these types of specialized placements. Thus, we will work to assure that this population’s needs are met by providing specialized training for the homes that accommodate these children. Lastly, we have secured alliances with at least three behavioral service agencies that will allow us to bypass the county waiting list for securing behavioral and mental health services for the children assigned to Guiding Light who require this.
While there are many foster family agencies currently operating in California, our agency will have in places several advantageous components other agencies do not currently possess. We believe having these offerings will prove beneficial to the children and parents/guardians of our agency. Thereby making our agency both a full-service agency and an agency that takes that extra measure to assure that this already disadvantaged population, does not fall further behind, in their physical health or well-being, academically or emotionally.
*Childrens Bureau office of Administration for children & families – U.S. Department of Health and Humans Services (2020, August 24) Foster Care Statistics 2018. https://www.childwelfare.gov/