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 Foster Care & Adoption

May is Foster Awareness Month

There are currently 34,000 children in foster care in Los Angeles County, the highest number in the nation. 
  • 21% of foster children in LA are under the age of 2
  • Upon aging out of foster care without a family, 1/3 of youth will become homeless, 1/5 will become incarcerated, and 70% of trafficked youth come from the foster care system.
Every child deserves a loving family. We are adopted sons and daughters of God, and we know that the family is the basic building block of society. These kids need the love of a family to support them and nurture them to their full potential. 

How Can My Parish Help? Host a Foster Fair!
A Foster Fair is like a ministry fair highlighting the many organizations working with children in foster care. Contact Molly Sheahan at mcsheahan@la-archdiocese.org​​. We'll help you find a speaker for after Masses, provide you with prayers and resources, and introduce you to agencies you can invite to table.
Schools & Religious Ed Classes: Host a Drive! 
Youth in foster care often lack the basic clothes they need, and have to carry all their belongings in trash bags. Collect something practical and fun like jeans for teens, pajamas on Pajama Day, socks with a Crazy Sock Day, prom dresses, backpacks around Back to School, or duffel bags. Donate the items to LoveGivesFosterCloset.org or JamesStorehouse.org
  • Send flyers home with the kids – Send this bulletin insert home to families, and include a little blurb on why you’re hosting a drive
  • Invite a speaker – after you collect the items, invite Foster All to present to your school students and parents about the need for foster families.
Families: Become a Foster Family - FosterAll.org 
Is your family called to be a foster family to children in need? Foster All acts as a bridge for prospective families, connecting you to foster agencies that best fit your family. Learn more about what it takes, find real answers, and hear other foster/adoptive families about their experiences.

If your family does not feel called to be a foster family, you can support foster youth in other ways:
  • Bringing meals and material needs to families who foster
  • Mentor foster kids through Big Brothers, Big Sisters or KidSave
  • Drive foster kids to church with Covenants for Kids
  • Host a holiday brunch for kids in group homes at the parish
  • Host drives for duffel bags or clothes for foster youth
  • Become a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) for a child
Individuals: Become a CASA - CASALA.org ​
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) are trained volunteers who represent and advocate for youth in the dependency court system. Each CASA represents the best interests of the child and makes a life-changing difference. 
Download the flyer to promote CASA volunteers

Other Ways to Get Involved

Find resources to become a foster or adoptive parent:
  • Call Foster All at 818-649-8000
    FosterAll.org
    Foster All refers to agencies that best fit a family seeking to foster or adopt. Plus, Foster All helps churches wrap around foster families to support them as a loving community for children.
  • Contact Olive Crest 
    OliveCrest.org​
    Olive Crest is a foster organization based on Judeo-Christian principles, dedicated to preventing child abuse, to treating and educating at-risk children and to preserving the family one life at a time.
Private or International Adoption
Call Bethany Christian Services at 1-800-238-4269 or visit Bethany.org​​​
Visit Holy Family Services (through the Episcopal Church) at hfservices.ladiocese.org​
Visit BraveLove.org to find more adoption resources and stories

Become a Safe Families Church
Safe Families is an innovative collaboration between area churches, volunteers and childcare professionals to support at-risk children and parents in need – with the goal of keeping children out of foster care. The parish community would support a family in crisis, whether the parents are facing sickness, hospital stays, homelessness, job loss, jail time, drug addiction, or another crisis. Trained families from the parish would welcome children under 18 years old into their homes free for as long as the family needs. The average length of stay is about six weeks and the biological family maintains parental rights. 
Visit Olive Crest to learn more about their local Safe Families program and watch this video about Safe Families.

Educate Yourself on Foster and Adoption
The Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) has regular orientations and expos to help prospective families begin the process to foster or adopt. For more information, call 
1-888-811-1121

Bring the Heart Gallery to Your Parish
HeartGalleryLA.org​
The Heart Gallery is a collection of beautiful life-size portraits of children waiting for adoption. It's a great visual for parishioners to see the children they can help. To request the Heart Gallery display at your parish, call Stephanie Clancy at 909-802-1411 or email clancs@dcfs.lacounty.gov 

Educate Students with Respect Life Week Curriculum
Our annual Respect Life Week includes information for TK-12 about fostering and adoption, including a high school handout. 

Join the Catholic Legislative Network

Sign up for the Catholic Legislative Network's email alerts so you can raise your voice for children and youth in foster care in the California legislature. 
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Educate Yourself and Your Parish with Angelus News Articles:
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