2013 Holiday Luncheon: Cookies & Cocoa
On Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 12 PM at the Laguna Hills Community Center, Beta Foster Care will be hosting a festive holiday celebration with lunch, cocoa and cookies, and kids' crafts to honor the foster children and families in the program. This event will raise funds for holiday gifts for the foster children as well as funds to support Beta Foster Care. This local organization provides a healthy family environment and one-on-one training, mentoring and counseling for foster parents. Beta's mission is to bring hope, love and tranquility back to Orange County's abused and neglected children.
$25 Minimum Suggested donations are tax-deductible (501(c)(3) Tax ID #33-0311770). Click the link below to donate online. Space is limited, so please RSVP to RSVPtoBeta@gmail.com by December 1st.
Beta Foster Care Newsletter
"NATIONAL FOSTER CARE MONTH"
The following article was written by Lara Anderson a Beta Foster Care certified foster parent in Dana point.
ay has been National Foster Care Month.
It often seems that the only times awareness is brought to the area of foster care for children is when a child is missing or has been abused by the foster family they've been placed with. Rarely do you hear about the success stories or the good people who make a positive impact on the lives of children in foster care.
I am a foster parent. Along with my husband, Andrew, we are raising two teenage foster sons. Why teenagers? Good question, (it's usually prefaced by, "Are you crazy?") While you have the choice to specify a preference for a particular age group and boys or girls, the greatest need for foster homes is for teenage boys.
We thought it would be fun to have some kids around who would enjoy some of the things we like to do, but old enough to also have their own interests.
Foster care is a planned, goal-directed service for children who cannot live with their birth families for some period of time. It is designed primarily as a temporary service that responds to crises in the lives of children and families.
These are great kids with the misfortune of having not-so-great parents. The kids are in the foster system through no fault of their own.
All children in foster care have a plan for permanency. Most children in foster care are reunified with a birth parent or relative after the parent completes a court-ordered program, which may include drug rehabilitation and parenting classes.
For children where reunification will not be possible, another kind of permanent living arrangement such as adoption, guardianship, or permanent foster care may be decided. There are many more children in need of temporary care than there are foster parents available.
To fill this gap, social services are always looking for good people who: want to help children can share their time, their hearts, and their homes are married or unmarried have kids of their own or no children are young or older are any race or religion work outside.
Potential foster parents will have to complete an application, agree to a background check, have a home inspection and personal interview, meet state and county licensing requirements, and participate in ongoing training. (Having gone through the rigors of certification, I have to wonder how the foster parents that make the news manage to even get kids placed in their home.)
Most of the expense of caring for a faster child is covered by the county. Health insurance, school lunches, etc. are taken care of and a monthly stipend is given to foster families to help with the costs of food, utilities, and clothing.
Although some foster homes may look at caring for foster children as a moneymaking enterprise, if you're spending what you should be on raising the children, there should not be any profit.
Foster care also involves more than caring for the children. A difficult aspect of being a foster parent can be dealing with the birth parent. (Usually, just one natural parent is involved in the children's lives.)
Often, weekly visits must be arranged and supervised by the foster family with the birth parent, who are understandably less than thrilled with the whole scenario. Also, prepare to have social workers m your home on a regular basis armed with a litany of paperwork.
Having foster children in our lives has been joyful, trying, rewarding, heartbreaking, and indescribably wonderful ...I'd recommend it to anyone who has the space in their heart and home to share with a child. As I said before, these are great kids. My oldest graduates from Dana Hills High School this year and was awarded a full scholarship to Cal State Fullerton. The other is an exceptionally gifted artist with an incredible sense of humor. While many foster homes are certified directly through Orange County Social Services, we went through Beta Foster Care, a private local agency that contracts with Orange County, located in Laguna Niguel. The extra support, services, and close proximity of the Beta Foster Care office made it a better option than dealing with the much larger agency up in the city of Orange.
If you're interested in learning more about becoming a foster parent, I encourage you to give Craig Zacuto and the staff at Beta Foster Care a call (949) 600-7722. It could be a call that not only changes a child's life for the better, but yours as well.
Lara Anderson works for a book editor, volunteers as vice president of the Animal Rescue Foundation and the Lantern Village
Poster Contest - Children Help Children
In honor of May being National Foster Care Month three children received poster contest awards at the Wells Fargo Bank branch located in the Laguna Niguel Town Center. The awards were presented to the winners on Monday at 4:30 pm. Beta Foster Care, a Laguna Niguel based private non-profit foster family agency, sponsored the poster contest with the event host Wells Fargo Bank.
April Casanova the Assistant Vice President and Store Manager of the Wells Fargo Bank Laguna Niguel branch awarded the children with the bank donated U.S. Savings Bonds and ice cream. The first place winner was Krystal English, a third grader who attends Marian Bergeson Elementary School. Krystal received a $200 bond. Jessica Wong, a second grader at Foxborough Elementary School, was awarded a $100 bond for second place in the contest. A $50 bond was given to Cassandra Evans, a fourth grader at Hidden Hills Elementary School, for third place honors. Proud and smiling mothers Lori English, Anna Wong, and Selena Evans accompanied all three children.
All three girls produced colorful hand drawn posters on the event theme of “Foster Parents Make a Difference”. This is the first poster contest sponsored by Beta Foster Care and Wells Fargo Bank. Flyers promoting the event were dispersed at all of the public elementary schools in Laguna Niguel and Aliso Viejo. Beta Foster Care may expand the poster contest next year to include local middle schools and high schools as well.
Craig Zacuto, M.A. the Executive Director of Beta Foster Care also thanked the children with Certificates of Achievement for their artwork. “Nothing is more meanful than artwork by children to help honor our foster parents who help so many needy children” says Zacuto. “We hope to make this an annual event to bring positive attention to foster care and highlight the need for more people to become foster parents”, says Zacuto. “It so important for people to hear about the rewards of foster care, that is why we choose ‘Foster Parents Make a Difference’ as our theme for this first poster contest” , says Zacuto.
Also, on hand to congratulate the winners was Linda Lindholm of the Laguna Niguel City Council. “It is wonderful to see local support for Beta Foster Care” says Lindholm. “There is nothing more precious in our community than our children and that is the message here” says Lindholm. Lindholm herself is a supporter of Beta Foster Care and serves on their local fund raising event auxiliary.
The winning posters will remain on display at the bank for another week. The poster contest caps a month long campaign by Beta Foster Care to celebrate May as National Foster Care Month with public displays, advertisements, and received from Linda Lindholm on May 17, 2002 a City of Laguna Niguel Proclamation.
For those interested in learning more about foster care the staff at Beta Foster Care may be reached at (949) 600-7722.