Community support urgently needed for additional shelter homes and resource families in Ventura County   

Homes with Heart VC encourages experienced families to come forward as resource families and emergency shelter homes for children and youth in care.

While Ventura County is helping families stay together whenever possible, a child or children may still need to be temporarily placed in out of home care at any time, day or night, to ensure their overall safety. Homes with Heart VC, a program of Ventura County Children and Family Services, is encouraging families to step up as resource families or to provide a safe Emergency Shelter Home (ESH) for children and youth who are temporarily placed in out of home care and may experience trauma and need an immediate place to go. Currently, there is a limited number of Emergency Shelter families who help make that transition as smooth as possible for the children. The county is in immediate need of these special resource families and Shelter Homes.

Homes with Heart VC, provides children, youth, and families with a foundation of respect and support, including resource family services from special people who can support children and youth with trauma and provide Shelter Homes.

“All you have to do honestly, is have your baskets full of fruit and vegetables, the fridge with ham, bread…just have more food,” said Natalie Torres, ESH parent. She added that “if there is anyone out there that has extra time, I would just love to see those parents that have already raised children and were great at it be parents for these kids that really need them, I think that would just be amazing.”

The initiative is in need of highly qualified families to serve as resource Shelter Homes for children and youth who need immediate, short term care ranging anywhere from 1-60 days. The unique demands require a special set of skills and circumstances that include patience and consistency.

Important qualifications for becoming an Emergency Shelter Home

Complete the Resource Family training program learning about children and youth in trauma.
Be empathetic and supportive to both birth parents and the extended family of a child.
Have flexible schedules and have time available to be with a child.
Be available 24/7 for placement referrals.
Be organized, calm and understanding.
Have experience parenting children.
Have a stable, nurturing home.
Own reliable transportation.
Have good verbal and written communication skills, bilingual is so helpful.
Be a member of the professional team of support available to you.
Must reside within Ventura County.

“Emergency Shelter Homes provide a safe environment for our children at such a critical time in their lives and this is a very meaningful way to step up and help our community, help our families, and help our children and youth,” said Jaci Johnson, Program Coordinator III in Recruitment at Ventura County Children and Family Services.

Learn more at

Recognized as a best practice leader statewide in the family recruitment and support component of child welfare, Ventura County Children and Family Services’ Homes with Heart VC, previously known as Foster VC Kids, was developed to increase the amount of loving resource families who are ready to take in children in need in Ventura County. This initiative provides resource families with ongoing support services, trauma-informed training, and mentorship to enhance the safety, permanency and well-being of Ventura County’s youth and families.  Learn how Ventura County Children and Family Services’ Homes with Heart VC is making a difference throughout Ventura County,

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