LOS ANGELES, May 7, 2018 -- Hillsides, a mental health and foster care charity, has launched an “In Search of Happily Ever After” campaign in conjunction with May being Foster Care Awareness Month. The goal of the campaign is to recruit more resource parents (formerly known as foster parents) for Bienvenidos foster care and adoption program. Bienvenidos is an affiliate of Hillsides.
The campaign kicks off with a video to raise awareness about the number of children in foster care in Los Angeles and the need for resource families. It will be followed with corresponding blog posts, press releases, and social media content throughout the month of May.
“With over 21,000 children in foster care in Los Angeles County, Los Angeles is facing a huge shortage of resource parents,” said Cindy Macias, Bienvenidos senior director of foster care and adoption. “Each week we field some 135 calls of children needing placement, and sadly, even though we have almost 100 resource families, there are not enough to match all the children.”
Nationwide, there are more than 427,000 children in the foster care system. In California, there are more than 63,000 children in the foster care system, and 38 percent of all children in foster care in California reside in Los Angeles. In just the month of March, 2018, there were 14,949 emergency response referrals to the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, with reasons ranging from emotional abuse, exploitation, neglect, physical or sexual abuse.
The foster care awareness campaign got its name from one resource family who was lucky enough to make its dream of adopting a child come true. A year ago, Michelle and Eduardo Cruz finalized the adoption of their little girl, Leah, three, who they took into their home when she was just seven weeks old. On the day of adoption ceremony, when Michelle asked Leah what the day meant to her, Leah replied, “It’s my happily ever after.”
Bienvenidos maintains two foster care and adoption offices, in Montclair and Pasadena. The program provides home-based foster care to help children heal from the effects of trauma. Included in the home-based care are treatment and adoption services for children and youth ranging from newborn to 21 years. The program serves multiple counties, including Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties.
Hillsides, with its affiliate Bienvenidos, is dedicated to healing children and young adults, strengthening families, and transforming communities through quality comprehensive services and advocacy. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the agency serves 14,000 children and families in Southern California throughout more than 40 sites, including school-based mental health offices in Los Angeles, Pasadena, and Baldwin Park. Foster care and adoptions services are offered in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties. To learn more about Hillsides, please visit www.Hillsides.org. Visit Hillsides on Facebook @hillsideschildren, on Twitter @Hillsides, or on Instagram @HillsidesPasadena.