Capital Region Cares Capital Region Cares 2017-2018 - Page 109

recruit other families,” she says. “But when they hear about the new reg- ulations and requirements, they get scared.” So far, the compensation rates for foster family agencies have not changed. “The state is working on it, but they don’t understand our urgen- cy,” she says. “We are expected to im- plement these new standards, but we don’t have the additional resources to do it.” Theoretically, with CCR, Heintz be- lieves the process to place foster youth in homes should be quicker and bet- ter, but it will be hard. “Childhood is WILL YOU CHANGE A FOSTER CHILD’S LIFE FOREVER? term intensive treatment interven- tions. The legislation also streamlines the support all foster youth receive and expands support for the families who care for them. Foster family agencies are being reorganized to meet a broader range of individual needs. Facilities seeking licensure as short-term residential therapeutic programs will now have to meet higher standards of care. Not only will they need to earn nation- al accreditation, these organizations must now deliver or arrange for ac- cess to a set of core services that are trauma-informed, including specialty mental health services. The new regulations also aim to improve selection, training and sup- port of all resource families, including relatives, seeking to care for a foster child. Under CCR, every child will have a team following them, developing a plan to ensure that children and fami- lies are getting the services they need. “This is the largest change in child welfare in a generation in California,” Herne says. “This is huge. We have a lot of fears around it, but we also have some hopes and dreams around it.” Laura Heintz, CEO of Stanford Youth Solutions in Sacramento, has also been anticipating and preparing for the changes with CCR for some time. Her nonprofit organization offers a variety of services to support children and families, including foster care ser- vices. The biggest task that Heintz sees for Stanford Youth Solutions is finding more of the right resource families, and training and equipping them. “The state wants us to recruit families that can take any kids, all kids, even those with behavioral issues. Our biggest challenge will be finding and retaining families who are the right match for the child,” she says. Resource families and foster youth will be matched based on needs, inter- ests, culture, family environment and location. “We rely on foster families to Child Advocates of Placer County, Sacramento CASA and Yolo County CASA have a collective goal to serve nearly 1,000 additional foster children and at- risk youth in 2018 and we need your help. CASAs are Court Appointed Special Advocates who represent the best inter- ests of foster children and youth in court and in life. Often, the CASA volun- teer may be the only consistent adult figure in a foster child’s life. Please refer to your local CASA organization’s website below to apply to our next volunteer training dates. Make 2018 the year that you transform the life of a child. “I walked in and he asked me, ‘How many kids do you got?’ I knew right away he was wondering how many other children I advocated for. I told him, ‘You’re the only one,’ and you should have seen the look on his face. He was in awe and overjoyed that he had me all to himself! It still makes me cry.” — Cindy Burger, CASA Volunteer WWW.CASAPLACER.ORG | WWW.SACRAMENTOCASA.ORG | WWW.YOLOCASA.ORG comstocksmag.com | 2017 CAPITAL REGION CARES 109