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Children stuck in emergency shelter as county faces foster, adoptive family shortage

Facing a shortage of foster homes, Sonoma County officials are stepping up efforts to find foster parents and adoptive families.

County officials announced an expansion of a partnership with the national group RaiseAChild to recruit families willing to take in foster children, according to a news release issued Friday.

The county has entered into a $25,000 contract with RaiseAChild for a year-long campaign of community events and multimedia promotions to raise awareness of the needs of local children in foster care.

Fifty to 75 local children are in temporary housing in the county, most at Valley of the Moon Children’s Center — the county’s emergency shelter for youth — according to Meg Easter-Dawson, program development manager for the county’s Department of Human Services’ Family, Youth and Children’s Division.

Easter-Dawson said in the statement:

“We are experiencing a shortage of foster homes for the children and teens in need. Valley of the Moon Children’s Center is meant to only provide temporary housing for up to 10 days. But we have children, especially teens, who must stay much longer because we don’t have a foster home for them to go to. Not having a stable foster home just furthers their trauma and makes it harder for them to heal.”

People can learn more about the benefits of becoming a foster or foster-to-adopt parent by attending a free informational meeting on Zoom. The next webinar in English will be held on Thursday, May 12 at 6 p.m. and the next webinar in Spanish will be held on Wednesday, May 11 at 6 p.m. 

For more information, see [email protected] or call (877) 417-1440. More events and information, including links to upcoming Zoom meetings, are available online at raiseachild.org/event.

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