Three-year-old Leah said of her adoption day, “It’s my happily ever after.” Our staff witnessed this emotional day filled with hope, security, and love, and they realized Leah is one of the lucky ones. Nationwide, there are more than 427,000 children in the foster care system. In California, there are more than 63,000 children in the foster care system, and in Los Angeles County, 21,000 children are awaiting permanency. Yet on that day in May 2017 one of our resource parents (formerly known as foster parents) officially adopted Leah.
For Foster Care Awareness Month in May we are launching a campaign entitled, “In Search of Happily Ever After,” named after Leah’s sentiment on her adoption day. Why is this campaign so important? Let me give you an example of the need for resource parents; in just the month of March 2018, there were 14,949 emergency response referrals to DCFS with reasons ranging from emotional abuse, exploitation, neglect, physical or sexual abuse. Thirty-eight percent of all children in foster care in California reside in Los Angeles.
On behalf of the children and youth in foster care whom we serve, we are asking our community who might be interested in becoming a resource parent to fill out the interest form. Will you help us share this page for the need to recruit more resource parents in hopes they will adopt children like Leah and give them their “happily ever after”?