Foster VC Kids, a program of Ventura County’s Children and Family Services, will host a free, informational Town Hall on Saturday, April 21 from 10am to 11:30am at Children and Family Services building ,855 Partridge Drive in Ventura. Residents interested in helping local children and teens are encouraged to attend and learn more about the urgent need for Ventura County homes to support youth in care. Panelists will include former foster youth, current foster parents and birth parents who will share their perspectives and answer questions about foster care in Ventura County.
“You loved every single piece of me even if it was horribly broken and I truly believe that your love was the first step in putting me back together again,” 18-year old foster youth Betty wrote in a holiday letter to her foster mom, Liz Thiele. Thiele, who has fostered nearly 40 children and teens in Ventura County, and her foster daughter Betty, will be among the Town Hall panelists who share their personal stories.
Those interested in fostering, adopting or mentoring can learn more by viewing the 26-minute online information session at www.fostervckids.org, calling 654-3220 or attending the April 21 Town Hall meeting.
Additional panelists include local foster parent Natalie Torres who has provided a home to nearly 70 youth, as well as foster alumni Lucy who will share her perspective about being separated from her siblings while in care.
Angelina McCormick-Soll, Program Coordinator for Foster VC Kids explains, “More homes are urgently needed, especially in the cities of Ventura and Oxnard. We’ve had a rise in the number of children over 16 years of age who are in care, from 17% last January to 21% this year. These teens are in jeopardy of aging out without ever having had a permanent home life. Children who age out of foster care are at much higher risk for homelessness, teen pregnancy, and incarceration. And, a heartbreaking 47% of our youth have been separated from some or all their siblings.”
Foster VC Kids works to protect these children by ensuring they are placed with fostering and kinship families who have the support and resources to provide safety, permanency and quality care. Extensive training and support services are available to ensure caregivers have the resources to nurture, protect and care for local youth in need.
Learn how Foster VC Kids is making a difference throughout Ventura County, www.fostervckids.org.