Special Populations Collaborative

Economically Disadvantaged/All Special Populations

Los Angeles Harbor College - Foster Care and Kinship Program

1111 Figueroa Place, Wilmington, CA 90744

Contact: Juanita Naranjo, 310-233-4446, naranjj@lahc.edu

Target population: Foster children; foster and adoptive parents

Goals:: The primary goal is to meet the needs of the large number of foster parents in the area, especially the Spanish speaking foster parents. Equally important is to increase the number of foster children attending post-secondary training by making foster parents more aware of the post-secondary options for foster children.

Description: Foster Parents have a high turnover rate. They need support and tools to be retained as Foster Parents This program instructs foster parents on ways to use the system to get their needs met, to develop healthy and positive foster parent relationships, and to develop a collaborative relationship among agencies and partners to provide tools to foster parents. The components of the program include:

• 35 computers with internet hook-ups that foster parents can use to find resources for themselves and their foster children. These computers are also used for internet classes in English and Spanish, and inter-generational classes on basic computer components . In these classes, the students and foster parents build a CPU to bring it home.

Other program components include:

1) Parenting classes focusing on physically and emotionally challenged youth.

2) A food bank

3) A conference to develop foster parents and advocates for foster youth.

4) Peer support system developed through the events

5) Collaborative events for partners.

Staffing: The Program Director, a coordinator, and an assistant.

Facilities, equipment, materials: 32 Computers and a physical facility

Costs, funding source: The program is grant funded.

Outreach and marketing: Foster Parent programs, word of mouth

Evidence of effectiveness: There were 250 foster parents who attended the last conference, “Excellence in Partnership." Approximately 20 families have participated in the build a computer class. Program staff reports that there has been better retention of foster parents and better success of the foster children in their care.