Extraordinary Foster Parents in Los Angeles County
Los Angeles County has the nation’s largest child welfare system and cares for one of the largest populations of foster children with severe mental disabilities and behavioral disorders. Foster children with mental disabilities are among those children most likely to be harmed while in foster care and among those children who do most poorly after leaving foster care.
Therapeutic foster homes allow children with mental disabilities to live with specialized trained foster parents and receive help that addresses children’s individual needs, rather than less effective and more expensive congregate care settings. At a minimum, 300 foster children in Los Angeles County need therapeutic foster care.
To address the need for therapeutic foster care parents, ExtraordinaryFamilies worked with all 12 of Los Angeles’ foster family agencies licensed to provide therapeutic foster fare to build their capabilities to recruit and support therapeutic foster parents, including:
- Media outreach
- Targeting high impact groups like current foster parents, people in helping professions, empty nesters, the LGBT community, and religious organizations
- Building a website with testimonials from real TFC families
- Selecting agency Ambassadors – TFC parents who will help with outreach and support
- Including parent voice through feedback surveys
- Increasing support groups and respite care opportunities for families