Children First Foster Family Agency has been serving the needs of at-risk children for 18 years. As our agency has grown, our vision to increase the scope of services to children, including those outside the foster care system has also enlarged. After hearing about a surprisingly large number of High School students who are classified as homeless, we were compelled to act.
Our response was to:
- Create a system to identify needs among this group or other students who are
entrenched in poverty
- Provide an initial funding amount to address needs
- Design a fund-raising mechanism that will sustain this help into the years
The fund would be available to those students who are in need of basic personal items and/or other supplies that would enhance their school experience. For example, a student may need funds to pay for a physical that is necessary to participate in sports, purchase a prom dress, attend a sports camp, buy shoes, equipment or a uniform for a specific sport, or purchase supplies for their
senior/science project. We want students to know that people care about them and their needs.
Theory Of Change
We believe that caring about and meeting student’s practical needs, particularly those that limit them from desired activities when they are already facing a challenging life, will serve to give them hope.
That hope coupled with the opportunity to participate fully in the experiences of High School will encourage them from dropping out of school, and contribute to their resiliency after graduation as they enter an independent adult life.
Children First invested an initial donation of $35,000 and is working with groups and corporations to raise funding for 8 High Schools and day program High Schools through Tehama, Shasta and Siskiyou counties.
We are also building systems to coordinate fundraisers which will sustain and hopefully increase funds for meeting these needs in the future.
School counselors, teachers, administrators or a foster care liaison will identify the needs and submit a request for funds. The school employee will write a short description of the need and provide brief details about the student. Children First will receive the request and make a decision concerning funding. When the request is funded the student will be asked to write a thank you note describing the importance of the gift to them. All of this will be anonymous. No names of students will be used. The purpose of the written thank you is to aid in motivating donors in fundraising campaigns and to communicate that their gifts are appreciated.
We are also asking each High School to sponsor a fundraiser so the awareness of the need is increased and to engage the student body and parents in the process of meeting this need. Children First is a nonprofit and will give all donors a tax receipt for their donation. No percentages will be retained out of donated funds for administrative or other purposes. 100% of all donations will be used to fund requests.
Your donations will contribute to the SYF goal. Log on to childrenfirstffa.com and click on the Solutions for Youth Fund. From there you will see a place to donate via PayPal. Simply choose the school you would like to donate to and click the box associated with that school. If you don’t have a specific school you would like to donate to, you can click the “wherever needed” box and that will be distributed out as needed per school.
Our goal is simple, we want to fix their future. One third of homeless adults were homeless as teens. We want to do what we can to prevent future homelessness. Not only can we help these youths but we can prevent homelessness in the future. we want to provide these high school youths with a sense of hope, knowing that the community cares about them.
Any child who doesn’t have parent(s) who support them. This may mean that the child doesn’t know where he/she will sleep each night. Or doesn’t have the resources to get new shoes, school supplies, clothing, or be able to participate in sports or after school activities.
Yes. In fact, in our conversations with school administration and counselors, they say there might be 3 to 4 times that many teens who are actually homeless.
In 2014 alone, over 150 homeless teens, grades 9-12 were recorded for Tehama County. The numbers for Shasta County are 108 for 2015.
The school keeps data on youth who describe themselves as homeless.
Children First Foster Family Agency started the Solutions for Youth Fund when we realized the drastic number of our local high school youth that are declared homeless. We have put together a fund to help these children who can’t afford things like school supplies, new clothes, hygiene items; anything that would limit them from fully participating in the activities and opportunities of their High School education.
Please see our Qualifications page.
The reasons and situation will need to be discussed. Please contact us for more information.
Yes. While you are at work, children in foster care need to be in approved child care or school. You will learn more details when you speak with our representative.
If you’re not ready to commit to being a full-time foster parent, you can consider becoming a “respite care” provider, which means offering short-term care for the child when foster parents need some time away.
Yes, however they must be locked up, with ammunition stored separately in accordance with community care licensing standards.
New legislation allows children to stay in foster care after the age of 18 if they meet certain criteria.
Yes, we provide a generous care reimbursement for each child placed in your home that is determined by the State of California.
No, and many of our successful parents are single. You do need to be 21 years of age to qualify.
Foster children may suffer from a variety of abandonment, neglect, and abuse issues which can contribute to emotional and behavioral problems. However there are support systems in place to help both the children and their foster parents while in their care. A social worker from Children First is assigned to each child and family. They will be very supportive in this process.
The focus of foster parenting is reunification with the biological parents. However when that process fails, children may become available for adoption and are often adopted by their foster parents. 37% of foster children are adopted by foster parents.
We review requests on a case by case basis, but typically it depends on the age and gender of both children.
Yes, we do our best to make the most appropriate placements. There may be times that we will call you for interest if there is a child outside of your requested age/gender and Children First thinks that your home would be an appropriate placement.
While the maximum is six, the actual number depends on several factors, including the number of bedrooms and space available in those bedrooms.