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 Adoption & Foster Care


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Every Child Deserves a Loving Family

Every child deserves a loving family to nurture and support that child to his or her full potential. Will your church help a child in foster care find a family?
 
Los Angeles County has 18,000 children in foster care, the most in the country. And right now, DCFS faces a shortage of foster parents. They especially need emergency foster parents who can care for a child up to 30 days, especially for infants under the age of 2, sibling groups, and older foster youth.

As  youth age out of foster care without a family, 30% will become homeless and 20% will be incarcerated, with 70% of trafficked youth coming from the foster care system. Just 4% go to college. These young people need the security and stability of a family to help them succeed in school and in life.
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You can help. By helping a child find a loving foster or adoptive family, you are investing in the life of that child and helping him or her have a better future!

Find resources to become a foster or adoptive parent:
Call Foster All at 818-649-8000
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.

Private or International Adoption
Call Bethany Christian Services at 1-800-238-4269 or visit Bethany.org​

Get Involved
Throw a Foster Fair at Your Parish!
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.

Step 1. Invite A Speaker
You can invite Foster All which acts as a bridge between prospective families and the foster agencies that can serve them, an organization on the sidebar, or a foster or adoptive family in your parish. Be sure to give them a table after Mass so they can share opportunities to serve with families.

Step 2. Promote Your Foster Fair
Step 3. 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 

Step 4. Support Foster Families in Prayer
Other Ways to Get Involved

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

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. 

Host a Foster Matching Event
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. DCFS can provide activities and refreshments, and can arrange for the supervision and transportation of the children. This event can help families already interested to move forward with the homestudy and training.
 
Host a Drive
Parishes love to pitch in for clothing drives! Host a clothing drive (think jeans, prom dresses, pajamas, or socks) at your parish and donate the collected items to a foster closet supporting foster families like James Storehouse in Ventura County or the Love Gives Foster Closet in LA County. Or, collect duffel bags for Together We Rise. Foster kids often have to carry their belongings in trash bags, so duffel bags offer these children a sense of dignity when they move to a new home. ​

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. 

FAQ’s for Families Considering Fostering/Adopting:
What if our families can’t adequately care for an older child? 
Your families can request the age that they are equipped to care for! DCFS has told us that they desperately need foster parents, and there is a special need to place infants under the age of 2 with a family.
 
What if our families can’t handle a long-term commitment to a child? 
They can become emergency foster parents. These foster parents care for children for 30 days or less, until a more permanent home like a relative or a long-term foster family is found. 
 
What if someone wants to help but doesn’t feel called to be a foster parent? 
Not everyone can become a foster parent. But everyone can help a child in foster care. During your foster fair, you can talk about the many opportunities at your parish:  becoming a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) for a child in the dependency court system, mentoring a child, or driving a child to church through Covenants for Kids. Check out our flyer for more ideas!
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