29 December 2014 — The Reality, and Hope, of Foster Care

IMPORTANT DATES

MONDAY, JANUARY 12 — 6:15pm  — Club Board of Directors Meeting, The Fireplace Room at Denny’s. All Club Members always welcome.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 18 — 9:00am to 2:00pm — BLOOD DRIVE, in support of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, with Los Angeles Kings Care Foundation — SAVE THE DATE! LOCATION: Daniel Pearl Magnet High School, 6649 Balboa Boulevard, Van Nuys, California. PLEASE HELP US SAVE CHILDREN! To sign up to donate, please use the CONTACT US link at the right side of this page, or e-mail us at rotaryeclub818gmail.com.  CLICK HERE FOR THE FLYER.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 25 — 12:30pm to 2:00pm — Our FOURTH SUNDAY meeting for January! Our special guest speaker is expected to be California State Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian, who is also a former Rotarian. We gather in The Fireplace Room at Denny’s, 5525 Sepulveda Boulevard in Sherman Oaks.

 

ROTARY E-WARENESS CAMPAIGN, DECEMBER 2014: FOSTER CHILDREN

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This month’s Rotary E-Club E-wareness campaign presents information about foster children.  Throughout the month our Club will provide resources gathered by our Club Member Natalia Yungerlevi, this month’s coordinator.  The information will be helpful to you and to the people you care about.  See the campaign by clicking here.

 

THIS WEEK’S PROGRAM

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This week we offer two powerful videos to remind ourselves of the reality, but also the hope, of children in foster care.  This week’s program is a powerful part of our E-wareness campaign for the month of December 2014.  We’re dealing with a large problem, and these statistics from Los Angeles County, plus the intensity of the dramatized stories in the videos, make that clear.

But there are positive steps we can take, both through advocacy and perhaps, if so moved, through personal involvement.

Los Angeles County foster care facts:

1) 28,000 children are currently in foster care in Los Angeles County.

2) 1,400 foster children are awaiting adoptive families.*

3) 38% of California’s foster care population is in Los Angeles County.*

4) More than one quarter (28.5%) of California’s poor children live in Los Angeles County.**

5) More than 38% of Los Angeles County’s population live in economic hardship and 16.1% (or approximately 1.56 million people) live under the federal poverty limit ($22,050 annually for a family of four).**

6) Abused and neglected children who are identified as victims in the past are 42% more likely to be abused and neglected again. The youngest children (from birth though age three) are most likely to experience a recurrence of maltreatment.*

7) Nearly one half of foster care children have learning disabilities or developmental delays.

8) Less than 50% of foster youth graduate from high school and only 3% graduate from college.

9) 50% of youth who have aged out of foster care end up homeless or incarcerated.

10) Nearly 2,000 youth are enrolled in extended foster care in Los Angeles County (foster care after age 18).

11) Teen girls in foster care are 2.5 times more likely to become pregnant by age 19 than those not in foster care.

12) 50% of 21 year old men aging out of foster care reported they had gotten someone pregnant, compared to 19% of their peers who were not in foster care.

13) 3/4 young women in foster care report being pregnant at age 21 as compared to only 1/3 of those in the general population.

14) 87% of youth in the juvenile justice system have learning disabilities.

15) During the 2009-2010 school year, CA schools suspended more youth than they graduated.

16) 75% are performing below grade level, and by third grade 80% have had to repeat a grade.

17) By grade 11, only 1 in 5 foster youth is proficient in English, and 1 in 20 is proficient in math.

18) 43% of foster children in L.A. County live with a relative and more than half are not eligible for federal foster care funding.

*from CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates)
**from Catholic Charities

These are not necessarily causal connections, but certainly powerful numbers that we can all work together to improve.

FIRST VIDEO: CLICK HERE FOR “ReMOVED” (we cannot embed it…please watch there and come back here; powerful, direct, and with a wonderful and uplifting finish so watch the whole thing)

Second video…with lots of stats included, for a different region but very typical:

If the embedded video does not work, please click here to view it on YouTube.

 

With so many ways to help and contribute, we can all be a part of the solution:

*Pay attention to the situation around us with respect to the foster care system, and advocate for improvements wherever they are warranted.

*Become a big sister or brother to a foster child through the CASA program. (http://www.casala.org/ and see the “Volunteer” tab)

*Donate slightly used toys, clothing and other supplies like bikes to DCFS or organizations that support foster youth.

*Get connected to a foster care agency or group home, volunteer to hold activities such as story time or arts and crafts with the kids.

*Find out where the local classes for Independent Living Program are being held, call the coordinator and ask for ways you can contribute.

 

The opinions expressed by guest speakers, or in advertisements that appear on external websites linked to this program, are those of the speaker(s) / websites / advertisers and not necessarily of the Rotary E-Club of The Greater San Fernando Valley or its members. No endorsement is implied. Programs are presented for informational purposes only.

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