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connect / 2020

Share Your Heart, Share Your Home

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by Korean American Family Services

1) Expand community outreach and the recruitment of Asian Pacific Islander (API) resource (foster) parents into LA County: Resource Parent Info Sessions and Orientations in API languages 2) Provide ongoing support groups for API resource parents with foster children 3) Provide emergency needs for API foster youth and their families, such as school supplies, clothing, food, utilities and other basic supplies

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • County of Los Angeles

In what stage of innovation is this project?

Expand existing program

What is the need you’re responding to?

On average, there are 35,000 children under the protection of DCFS in LA county. Among them, 600-800 are Asian Pacific Islanders (API). KFAM’s Asian Foster Family Initiative is the first and only foster family agency in the U.S. that specializes in serving the needs of API foster children and families. AFFI was launched in 2014 by KFAM to provide more API foster families to take care of API foster children who frequently face linguistic and/or cultural barriers in non-API foster homes. AFFI recruit, train, approves, and supports foster families as well as placing foster children to matching foster families. In 2019, we were able to help 23 foster children and 2 children have been adopted. However, we also had to turn away over a dozen children to non-Asian homes because we didn’t have enough homes to meet their needs.

Why is this project important to the work of your organization?

Prior to 2014, there were very few API resource (foster) families in the greater LA area, including zero active Korean American resource families available to provide culturally appropriate homes to API foster children. Five years later, thanks to KFAM’s Asian Foster Family Initiative (AFFI), there are 50+ approved API resource parents ready to provide culturally and linguistically specific care for API children in need of out-of-home placement. In 2016, KFAM became the first and only licensed Foster Family Agency (FFA) in the nation specializing in the needs of API foster children and families. We have also facilitated several adoptions of API children who were surrendered by their parents. In 2018, KFAM became CARF certified, accrediting our program and services as high quality and oriented around person served. AFFI is active within the Korean, Chinese and Filipino communities, with bilingual staff, trainings and programming offered in Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese and Tagalog.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?

Direct impact
Indirect impact

Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.

Statistics show that foster children have the poorest educational outcomes of all at-risk groups – only 58% of kids in foster care graduate high school compared to 84% of the general statewide population. Only 2% of foster kids graduate from a 4-year college. We are determined to see significantly higher percentages of our kids graduate from high school and college than these statistics.

We all can help out in high risk youth in need through the programs and it’s truly changing the trajectory of their lives.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.

Objective 1 – Outreach & Recruitment: AFFI is launching a new recruitment strategy called “Family 2 Family” this year partnering with its experienced resource families. The experienced families will be incentivized and encouraged to recruit others by initiating small outreach gatherings to share their experience. AFFI staff will help facilitate and support. AFFI will continue the outreach through media placement and community engagement info sessions and orientation. Measurements: 20+ potential resource families to sign up for 20+ hour training.

Objective 2 – Parenting Education for Fostering Teens: Increase the number of resource families who are willing to foster teenagers, which are a hard-to-place population. Measurements: 7+ resource families who are willing to take teenagers.

Objective 3 – Support Groups: KFAM’s FFA will conduct 2-4 support group events for API resource parents. Measurements: 20+ API resource families will attend support groups.

Objective 4 – Basic Needs: Foster youth and their families have an increased need under the current coronavirus pandemic for basic needs, such as groceries, clothing, school supplies, and utilities. Measurements: Up to 10 API youth and their families will receive financials support to cover basic necessities, as families have been financially severely impacted due to layoffs.

Which of the connect metrics will your submission impact?​

  • Immigrant integration

Are there any other LA2050 goal categories that your proposal will impact?

  • LA is the best place to LEARN

Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?

  • Access to the LA2050 community
  • Host public events or gatherings
  • Communications support
  • Office space for meetings, events, or for staff
  • Capacity, including staff