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Foster Youth: Beyond The Necessities

Audio

Aired 5/5/10

May is National Foster Care month. We take a look at what foster kids need that isn't a necessity.

We all know that foster kids face a lot of challenges at a very early age. The breakup of their families, often getting bounced around from home to home, from school to school. But sometimes it's missing the little things that can hurt the most. Music lessons, a high school prom or a birthday party.

May is National Foster Care month, and we thought we'd check in with some people in San Diego who are trying to look out for the needs of foster kids. Their big needs and the little things, too.

Guests:

Susan Golding, Former Mayor of San Diego and CEO of Promises2Kids

Krysta Creighton, Program Director, YMCA youth and family services

Danielle Raymond, was formerly in the foster care program.

Comments

Avatar for user 'paulprovencio'

paulprovencio | May 5, 2010 at 11:40 a.m. ― 4 years, 7 months ago

Donations of all kinds for foster children are excellent. The most important donation of all is your personal time, caring, and compassion. One way to do this is through volunteerism. You can find out how to volunteer your time by calling 2-1-1 information, and asking about volunteering with foster youth, or using the internet and looking up http://www.211sandiego.org/ and search key words “volunteer foster youth”. One excellent way to volunteer your time would be though a foster youth mentor program. Below you will find some information to link you to San Diego County foster youth mentor program.

Good luck to all the foster children out there. If you’re feeling like life is a challenge, seek out trustworthy people to talk to, you are not alone, even though you might feel that way. One way for current or former foster youth to receive free therapeutic services is through a program called A Home Within, you can find information on this program on the internet at www.ahomewithin.org.

Foster Youth Mentor Program
Provides a volunteer mentor program that matches caring adults with foster children. Mentors provide one-to-one support to foster children to enrich their lives and aid in the development of self-esteem. Activities include transportation, social and educational outings, and tutoring, among others.

Phone number
(858) 503-2626 (Service/Intake)

Web
www.sdcounty.ca.gov/hhsa/

Location
8333 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard Suite 212
San Diego, CA, 92111 Map

Service Hours
8:30 am till 5:00 pm, Monday thru Friday

Additional Information
Areas Served: All Areas

Eligibility: Volunteer mentors must be 18 years and older, pass criminal background check, commit to a minimum of 2 hours a week for at least one year.

Fees: No fees charged.

Intake: Phone or email Tin Le (858) 503-2641, tin.le@sdcounty.ca.gov.

Languages: English, bilingual

Service Categories: Adult/Child Mentoring Programs, Mentoring Services Volunteer Opportunities

Wheelchair Access: Yes

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Avatar for user 'dsalazar'

dsalazar | May 5, 2010 at 4:43 p.m. ― 4 years, 7 months ago

My sister, Linda Salazar, is a former foster youth. I have painfully and, in many ways, helplessly watched her grow up in the system. Despite her misfortune she has grown to become an intelligent, independent, and successful young woman. She is now 22 years old, has acheived an Associates Degree from Grossmont College in El Cajon, has won several scholarships, currently volunteers, works part time as a nanny of three children, and has been accepted into a cardiovascular technician program which she anticipates to begin in the fall of 2010.

I strongly believe that she would not have been able to come this far without the help and care of those who volunteer and contribute to the programs designed for foster children. With the aid of a program, JIT (Just in Time), Linda has gotten help to get a laptop, scholarships, luggage, etc. which has contributed to her academic career. The attention and dedication of the people within this program has motivated her to get more involved in helping others who are also form foster youth.

For instance, she has helped create a program within the EOPS (Extended Opprotunity Program and Services) department at Grossmont College which focuses specifically on the aid of the former foster youth who need help attaining a higher education. The program is called EFFORT (EOPS Financial aid Foster youth Outreach Rentention Team). For more information see the bottom of this comment.

It was mentioned on These Days that a young adult of 18 years is often not ready to live independently; this is equally true for foster youth. I beleive it is especially hard for them because they do not have the parents to lean on for help. Programs like JIT, EOPS, and EFFORT not only help former foster youth, but it promotes higher education.

I write this comment because I think it is important to get the word out there to the foster youth that there is still help after you turn 18. Moreover, it is help that will boost you to succeed in your adult life. It is also important to let others know that help is needed for these foster youth to succeed for the better of society as a whole.

I also write this comment because I want to recognize my sister, Linda. I am proud of you. I admire your strength and courage throughout your struggle within the system, and I am confident that you will be a success in your adult life.

Deanna Salazar

Contact Information of Programs mentioned in this comment:

Grossmont College--EOPS & EFFORT:
www.grossmont.edu/eops

Michael Perez--EOPS and EFFORT counselor
/>michael.perez@gcccd.edu />&
Julio Soto--Financial Aid Advisor
/>julio.soto@gcccd.edu>

JIT:
http://www.jitfosteryouth.org/

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