Foster & Kinship Care Education Programs
Manager, Foster & Kinship Care Education, Joni Collins
With 10% of the nation's children in foster care in Los Angeles County, it is important that committed, well-trained resource (foster and adoptive) families be recruited and supported in the communities from which children are coming into placement to ensure the overall well-being of the child. The Community College Foundation has provided pre-service training to over 11,000 potential resource parents since 1989. TCCF is currently using the nationally recognized PS-MAPP curriculum (revised in 2006) to meet the needs of Los Angeles County. The PS-MAPP workshops support achieving permanency for children by providing a process to help screen, target and support committed potential resource families to provide nurturing alternate homes for children. The PS-MAPP program emphasizes teamwork between resource families, birth families and other stakeholders to create a solution that takes into consideration the unique needs of each child.
BENEFITS OF PS-MAPP
Productive relationships, community involvement, and cultural sensitivity essential for the child's well-being!
The PS-MAPP program supports maintaining the family and community connections essential for the positive well-being of the child. The benefits of the PS-MAPP program include:
- Helping resource parents build positive relationships with birth parents.
- upporting resource families' understanding of the commitment necessary to ensure the well-being of children placed in their care.
- Providing resource families with a network of essential services, support and nurturing for children placed in their care.
- Emphasizing the importance of maintaining close connections between children and their birth families.
- Underscoring the benefits of foster care from within the child's own community.
- Providing understanding of behavioral problems the child may experience.
- Helping resource families understand the dynamics of the foster care system.
WORKSHOP STRUCTURE AND TOPICS:
PS-MAPP is a 33-hour, interactive group format led by a team of three facilitators. The team includes an experienced resource parent, a trainer from the community and a children's social worker from the Department of Children and Family Services. Workshops are available at various community colleges and community based agencies in cities throughout Los Angeles County in English and Spanish.
The PS-MAPP workshop is completed in 3-hour intervals. Each meeting is geared towards a specific topic which educates participants in order to ensure successful placements for children. These topics include the following:
- Welcome to the Group Preparation and Selection Program.
- Where the MAPP Leads: A Foster Care and Adoption Experience.
- Losses and Gains: The Need To Be A Loss Expert.
- Helping Children With Attachments.
- Helping Children Learn to Manage Their Behaviors.
- Helping Children with Identity, Culture and Connections.
- Birth Family Connections and Understanding the Impact of Fostering & Adopting.
- Gains and Losses: Helping Children Leave Foster Care.
- Understanding the Impact of Fostering and Adopting.
- Perspectives in Fostering and Adopting-Teamwork and Partnership.
- Endings and Beginnings.
In conjunction with Para Los Ninos, we employ Youth Development Series instructors and tutors.
Closing the Achievement Gap for Children in Poverty
Para Los Niños Means "For The Children"
Para Los Niños is a nonprofit organization that has worked for more than thirty years to create academic success and social well-being for children. Through early education centers, charter schools, and wellness centers, we offer high-quality education integrated with family supports, mental health services, and community engagement opportunities to thousands of children living in at-risk neighborhoods in Los Angeles county.
Para Los Niños was founded so that no child would be forgotten...
In October 1979, the Los Angeles Times published an article that galvanized a community. It was the first of many to spotlight the plight of children and families living in the depths of despair in Los Angeles' inner cities. It spoke of children living in Skid Row, locked in hotel rooms or left alone to wander dangerous neighborhood streets, while their parents worked to survive. At that time, little attention was paid to these forgotten children. Few services and safe havens existed for these young boys and girls. Ninety percent did not attend school.
Within a year of the article appearing in the Los Angeles Times, social worker Tanya Tull founded Para Los Niños. In 1980, the organization came to life in a former false eyelash factory where at-risk children, eager for a chance to learn, were offered a safe and nurturing environment filled with exploration, hope and opportunity.
Today, Para Los Niños continues to respond to the ever-growing and ever-changing needs of Southern California's most challenging communities. The organization's proven approach helps to build stronger, more stable families and brighter futures for children.
The Cougar Guardian Scholars Program assists former foster youth between the ages of 17 and 23 in their efforts to gain a college education by offering scholarships and support services necessary for their academic success. Difficult situations and backgrounds have left some foster care youth with significant hardships in their lives.
The Cougar Guardian Scholars Program provides the opportunity to change individual lives and make dreams come true. In addition to financial assistance, the Guardian Scholars Program in collaboration with on-campus programs offers:
- Priority Registration
- Summer Bridge (First-time Freshmen Only)
- Individual Counseling / Life Coaching
- Life Skills Workshops
- Educational and Community Enrichment Activities
- Computer Lab