Thursday, December 13, 2012
Foster children and their families got an early holiday present from the county Thursday: free computers.
Parents driving minivans lined up outside a City Heights loading dock despite the rain to pick up the computers, which are desktops once used by county employees. They've since been refurbished and loaded with software by the San Diego Futures Foundation.
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The Computers for Foster Families Program was created by County Supervisor Greg Cox in 2001. Arleth Arreola-Rubio, who works for child welfare services, said it focuses on foster kids because they often need extra help with schoolwork.
"Foster children are kids that have been abused and neglected," Arreola-Rubio said. "They're vulnerable and, a lot of times, they need a lot of help with school. Having access to the internet, a computer, all of those things are going to help them out."
Cookie Morrow lives in southeast San Diego with her four foster children. She has one computer at home, but said it just isn't enough when all her kids are doing homework at the same time.
"It's going to mean a great deal for them," Morrow said before hurrying off to pick her kids up from school. "It's going to make their homework a lot easier."
There are about 3,600 children in out-of-home care in San Diego County and about 1,600 foster families, according to the county. Arreola-Rubio said foster families usually care for two or more kids; some have as many as six foster children.
Arreola-Rubio says the county will give out 150 computers through Friday.