Children who need foster care are all ages, from infants to teenagers. They come from various backgrounds and types of families. They may be part of sibling groups of two, three, four, or more. Most of them are school aged, although some are younger. In Sonoma County, most of the children in foster care are Caucasian and Latino.
Various people bring children to the attention of Child Protective Services social workers. Physicians, nurses, educators, clergy, social workers, and foster parents are among those required by law to report any situation where they reasonably suspect a child is being abused, neglected or endangered. Friends, neighbors, or relatives also may report suspicions or concerns that children are not being cared for adequately.
Some foster children were exposed to drugs and alcohol before birth. Most have been neglected, or emotionally, sexually, or physically abused. Due to their traumatic experiences they may have special physical, mental, emotional or behavioral needs. Some may have challenging behavior when they come into foster care because they are angry, frightened, confused and insecure about what is happening to them.
Through no fault of their own, these children often have various special needs and challenges as a result of their past experiences and the current disruption in their lives. But these children and youth can learn and adapt. With the influence of positive role models and with your love and stability these youth can grow and thrive in your care to become productive, happy adults. You can make the difference!