California has reduced financial support to foster families by 10 percent due to the weak economy and the state budget deficit.
As a result, it is putting even more pressure on the services that the Manteca-based Agape Villages Foster Family Agency offers to assist foster families as well as to provide “extras” that often are difficult to provide even with the state’s financial assistance.
That is why the non-profit is staging its second annual Jail & Bail fundraiser on Thursday, Nov. 5, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Bank of Stockton.
Those who are “arrested” will be given a bail amount to raise in donations by Rick Wentworth who is serving as the judge for the day.
Agape Villages Foster Family Agency’s staff based in Manteca works to place hundreds of youth who - because of abuse or neglect - are not able to live with their parents.
And until an agency like Agape Villages can place them, they end up living at the county-run Mary Graham Hall children’s shelter in French Camp.
In a typical year, Agape Villages will find homes for 300 kids ranging from newborns to teen-agers. But even so, there is still a shortage of foster families.
Agape Villages has a comprehensive system in place to support foster parents. It includes financial compensation that prior to the state’s cutbacks ranged from $700 to $900 a month to help with the expense of raising a child, a clothing allowance, provisions for respite or cooling down periods, support groups, personal consultation to assist with the initial decision to become a foster parent, social workers available 24/7 for emergencies as well as who meet weekly with foster parents and their children, and effective training and preparation as a foster parent.
Training consists of 16 hours of classes. There is also a need to know CPR as well as be fingerprinted.
The foster children have Medi-Cal for health insurance.
For more information on the Jail & Bail call Joann Beattie at 992-8346.
To find out more about Agape Villages, go on line at www.agapevillages.org