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To the Los Angeles County area Lurkers.

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

If you are considering foster parenting or fost to adopt in LA county, check out the article:

 

http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-foster-care-overflow-20130826,0,6981379.story

 

There is a real crisis going on here.   Please don't try and work with the county to get certified.  They are so backed up.  Go with an agency.

post #2 of 6

I can't speak for LA in particular, but it continues to amaze me that it is made so difficult to be a foster parent. I don't mean the background checks, the training, or the homestudies (although those could be streamlined). I do want them to know who is caring for the kids. I mean the overworked and sometimes incompetent certifiers and case workers, the lost paperwork, the thousand unneccesary hoops to jump through. The lack of adequate compensation and appreciation for the work foster parents do. The disorganized mess the whole system is.

 

Why do you suggest an interested person go through an agency, rather than the state? In my state, it is different (only the highest needs kids go through an agency, into therapeutic level homes) - I am interested in how it works in California. Here, the agencies have much higher restrictions on who can foster, and many more limits on how.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Mamarhu - I recommend an agency only because of the crisis and the county's current timeline for certification.   I started to be licensed with the county in December 2011.  I just was called by my county social worker 2 days ago to complete my homestudy process, considering it will take a couple months to finish the homestudy, that is nearly a 2 year wait for certification.  We weren't in a hurry but we were excited so there was no lag in getting our paperwork in or taking our classes.   

 

At my agency, you can finish certification in 3-6 months.   The restrictions are a little more strict with my agency than the county but I don't think the restrictions would affect most people.  I think that we get a bit more support from our agency than we would have with the county but that comes with a downside too.  My agency social worker comes to visit every week.  That is a lot of visits.   We also have visits from the county workers as well.  

 

I don't blame LA county workers.  They are doing the best they can.  It is a budget and administrative issue.   They are overworked and any new staff they get in the department tend to go to help keep children safe in emergency situations and not to recruitment and certification of foster homes.  

 

I agree with you that the background checks and classes and inspections are all very important parts of becoming a foster parent.   We have had the most issues as foster parents with social workers who don't return calls/emails and things being lost in translation from court minute orders down to us. 

post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamarhu View Post
 

 

Why do you suggest an interested person go through an agency, rather than the state? In my state, it is different (only the highest needs kids go through an agency, into therapeutic level homes) - I am interested in how it works in California. Here, the agencies have much higher restrictions on who can foster, and many more limits on how.

 

In my state (at least in my area/county not sure about the entire state of MI) it is more common to go with a private agency. In fact in my county im not sure i could just sign up to be a foster parent with the county itself although my friend is moving to the next county over and she will be with the county. Private agencies are the norm here and have nothing to do with high needs kids. All the foster kids i've had (ranging in age from 3 weeks to 8 yrs at placement) were through private agencies. And the actual requirements for being licensed are the same regardless. 

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Also, it used to be that Foster Family Agency homes were the harder to place/special needs placements.  Now they place the same kids as the county.  For LA county, it was just easier to start subcontracting the work to the agencies.  

post #6 of 6

You're right about the county.  It's such a joke.  The paperwork is also really difficult and by the time we got all the forms done, it was too late to turn them in because our orientation had expired. So we will have to go to another orientation if we want to go county.  Ugh.

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