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Californians Called On To Foster Connections For The Thousands In State’s Foster Care System

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Over 68,000 Californian children are in foster care because their own families are in crisis and unable to provide for their essential wellbeing.

Like all young people, youth in foster care deserve and benefit from enduring, positive relationships with caring adults. Now is the time to get involved.

This May, National Foster Care Month will serve as the platform for connecting more of these vulnerable children with concerned, nurturing adults. Join California’s leading child welfare agencies, private foster family agencies, advocates, experts and thousands of foster and adoptive parents as they come together to address the needs of our communities’ young people in foster care.

Their message is simple: No matter how much time you have to give, youth in foster care are OUR CHILDREN and we must provide for them. About half of all foster children are aged 0-5. Aspiranet Adoption and Foster Family Agency was recently awarded a specialized grant through First 5 San Bernardino to find qualified homes to care this special group of children and to allow them to remain with their siblings when placed in foster homes.

Many of these formerly abused or neglected children and teens will either be safely reunited with their parents, be cared for by relatives, or be adopted by loving families. But others are less fortunate. Every year, more than 4,000 older youth “age out” of foster care and are left alone to face life’s challenges. No matter their age, all young people in foster care need a meaningful connection to a caring adult who becomes a supportive and lasting presence in their lives – a lifelong connection.

Research shows that foster care alumni are far more likely than their peers in the general population to endure homelessness, poverty, compromised health, unemployment, incarceration and other adversities after they leave the foster care system.  Aspiranet Adoption and Foster Family Agency will begin on July 1, 2009 partnering with San Bernardino County in a program designed to provide life skills, continued education, health care, housing, employment assistance and mentoring to youth (18-24 years old) aging out of the system through their THP-Plus program.

Across the state, caring individuals are helping foster youth ages 0-24 build brighter futures by serving as their foster parents, relative caregivers, adoptive parents, mentors, advocates, social workers and volunteers.

But much more help is needed in San Bernardino County. Aspiranet is urgently seeking many more everyday people to come forward for our communities’ children so they realize their full potential.

Call Aspiranet today at 909- 890-9022 or visit www.aspiranet.org to learn how you can be that connection to a young person in your community.

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