Family to Family – Community Based Foster Care
We provide technical assistance on developing and implementing Family to Family programs in California and throughout the United States to develop statewide policies, particularly related to funding and changes in licensing requirements that will foster the Family to Family approach to increase the community-based focus of the child welfare system with Family to Family. This resource has been helpful in meeting the needs of smaller counties that otherwise could not participate in the program.
Children coming into the foster care system have a desperate need for the support of not only a family, but a community. They need emotional support and social interaction, and also the structure and social norms that community values supply. Children without parents often lack order and consistency and strong moral and ethical values to guide their behavior. Families caring for these children as relative caregivers, foster parents, or adoptive parents, also feel isolated. They need training in how to cope with the children’s behavior, as well as support and acceptance from their own communities. Faith communities are an important resource for meeting these needs in that they offer a supportive community, a structure for behavior, and a spiritual base. We are working to educate faith leaders about the potential of their involvement in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, and to organize and coordinate their participation in Los Angeles, California and Detroit, Michigan.