Foster the City

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Foster the City

Last week the Help and I briefly attended Foster the City at the Convention Center, an event sponsored by the National Council for Adoption and DC127, an organization working to reverse DC's foster care waitlist. We are interested in raising children and decided to check it out.

One of the exibitors at the event was LAYC. You remember LAYC, the community in Truxton Circle fought to keep them out of the Cook school because the organization wanted to put a housing compent that did not sit well with residents. I believe Mundo Verdi will be a far better fit. Anyway, at the event the organization was focused on various placement efforts for minors. One of the things that it appears LAYC does that the other foster/adoption groups at the event does not is provide a transitional living program (TLP). A TLP serves English and Spanish speaking homeless and runaway youth between the ages of 16-22 with host families.

Several social service organizations like LAYC, Lutheran Social Services and Bethany Christian Services have an unaccompanied minor program for refugee youth who get into America without an adult guardian. They may come from refugee camps or get dumped in the country by a coyote. These kids may need a host family to foster them and help deal with immigration and citizenship challenges.

Besides offering opportunities to learn about foster to adopt programs there were other programs for advocacy, mentoring and support. Advocacy could be this right here, getting the word out that there are children with varying needs in the foster care system who need stable adults to mentor, host or adopt them. It is also working with social service agencies and organizations who seek to support the approximately 1,300 kids in DC foster care.  Mentoring could be providing short-term housing or being a stable adult who is there for a child. We weren't there long enough to get a proper jist of what support means so I'll just quote what the program says:

Support- We all know it takes a village to raise a child. No parent could do what they do without the help of babysitters, family and friends, and this doesn't change for families in foster care - it just might look a little different. This track is for those who want to be involved in supporting foster families and organizations.

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