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FAQs | Raising Hope

FAQs

Q. How many children are in foster care in Ventura County?

A. In 2016 there are approximately 1,000 children placed in out of home care which includes foster care, a relative placement, a group home or other facility.

Q. How can I donate to RaisingHOPE, Inc?

A. We appreciate any and all donations to RaisingHOPE, Inc. because we are a volunteer-led, nonprofit organization. To partner with us in the work we are doing for abused, neglected and abandoned children you can donate

  • Monthly [link]
  • One Time Donation [link]
  • In Kind Donation (a service for foster youth or for one of our events) – email info@raisinghope.org
Q. What does my donation go towards?

A. Up until 2016 our annual HOPE4Kids event was the sole income source for RaisingHOPE, Inc. During that time 100% of the proceeds from that event went directly to help children in foster care in Ventura County. Recently we have grown and transitioned to offer more programs for foster youth and families. To that end we now have costs associated with our mentor program training and our legal advocacy. However we work hard to keep the costs down both in planning the event and in covering our overhead so that we can continue to support as many children in foster care and those transitioning out of foster care as we can.

Requests for financial support come in many different forms. We view ourselves as a gap filler. Ventura County has many support organizations for foster youth but there are still needs that are not covered in any way. One example is orthodontic care. This is not covered by Medi-Cal and sometimes the need is so severe that it can affect a child’s health in addition to their self-confidence. Some organizations will cover several of these per year for a certain age group but RaisingHOPE is not limited. We are able to assess each individual need and make a determination based on the benefit to the child and the funds available.

Another common need is for youth who are aging out or transitioning out of the foster care system. We are so proud of these young people because they are pressing on against all odds toward success. We want to support them as much as possible in order to prevent homelessness, depression, unemployment and other unfortunate consequences of being in the foster care system. Transitioning aged youth often need help paying for college textbooks – remember how expensive those can be? They might need a rental deposit or car repair or a refrigerator for their apartment.

We can also assist with travel expenses for a child to meet with relatives that could eventually become a placement. Sometimes children have relatives that they may not have met or may not have seen since they were very young. These relatives could become caregivers for the child but for the fact that the child doesn’t know them so there is no comfort level there. The county doesn’t have the funds to send a child to connect with their family but we can help with this if there is a genuine possibility of placement. In doing this we can assist children in finding homes rather than languishing in the foster care system.

Basically, as long as we have the funds, we will assist with anything that benefits a child who has an open child welfare court case in Ventura County or who recently transitioned out of the child welfare system.

Q. How can I get involved with RaisingHOPE, Inc?

A. We are glad you asked! RaisingHOPE has several ways for community members to get involved:

Level 1 – Monetary or Durable Goods Donation – We rely 100% on donations and we support dozens of children annually. Without your generous contributions we cannot serve as many youth and we do not want any youth to be turned away.

Level 2 – Volunteer with the annual HOPE4Kids Festival & Run event – This event is the largest community event for foster children in Ventura County. We need approximately 40 core team members and 250 volunteers for the actual event. We can use volunteers of almost any age to hand out water, monitor the course, hand out balloons, create silent auction baskets, and more.

Level 3 – Mentor a youth in the foster care system – This program connects youth in foster care with trained, background approved adults. The purpose of our mentoring program is to give youth in care a stable, safe connection that can last beyond their time in care. A mentor can be called on for advice or support in situations where a parent might normally be called on for support.

Q. How Do I Become a Foster Parent?

A. In Ventura County you can become a “resource family” in one of two ways. A resource family is similar to a foster family home except that it includes relative caregivers as well as foster parents. Beginning in 2016 Ventura County is licensing all relatives as well as foster family homes for both foster care and adoption.

Families can become licensed through Foster VC Kids, a division of Children & Family Services or they can become licensed through one of the four foster family agencies (FFA’s). Each organization is slightly different and it is important to ask questions to determine which one is right for your family.

The requirements to foster in Ventura County are:

  1. Complete an application.
  2. Complete the resource family training (varies depending on the agency)
  3. Become certified in CPR/First Aid for both infants & adults
  4. Have a medical exam
  5. Pass a background check
  6. Pass a home inspection

Aspiranetwww.aspiranet.org
Koinonia Family Homeswww.kfh.org
Arrow Child & Family Ministrieswww.arrow.org
Casa Pacifica Foster Family Agencywww.casapacifica.org
Foster VC Kids (Ventura County Children & Family Services)www.fostervckids.org

Q. I’m a foster parent – what types of things can you help me with?

A. RaisingHOPE can assist with any items that benefit a child in the child welfare system or who has recently transitioned out. We are unable to assist foster parents with things like rent or car repair that do not directly benefit a youth. If you know of a child who is in need of financial assistance, please complete this form [hyperlink to form]

Q. I’m a foster youth – how can I apply for financial support?

A. Complete the form [link] completely. Once you complete the form you can email it to info@raisinghope.org or mail it to 1772-J. E. Avenida de Los Arboles, Suite 204, Thousand Oaks, CA 91362. Financial awards are determined on a case by case basis.

Q. I’m a former foster youth – how can I apply for financial support or other resources?

A. Complete the form [link] completely. Once you complete the form you can email it to info@raisinghope.org or mail it to 1772-J. E. Avenida de Los Arboles, Suite 204, Thousand Oaks, CA 91362. Financial awards are determined on a case by case basis.