Exceptional Families Adoption Campaign

DATE: May 7, 2013
TO: Board of Supervisors
SUBJECT: EXCEPTIONAL FAMILIES ADOPTION CAMPAIGN  (DISTRICTS: ALL)

SUMMARY 
Overview
In San Diego County, nearly 400 children are placed in loving, permanent, adoptive homes each year.  Currently, 45 hard-to-place children languish in foster care without hope of returning home due to situations beyond their control; parental rights have been terminated and attempts to place children with extended family have been unsuccessful.

There are many challenges that make it difficult to place these children in adoptive homes, including their age if they are school-age or older; identification of behavioral, developmental, psychological, or medical disabilities; and sibling groups in foster care who do not want to separate. 

Fortunately, exceptional loving parents have come forward to care for children in foster care. However, there are still many exceptional children who require adoptive families.   With today’s action, the County will develop and launch an Exceptional Families Adoption Campaign to recruit loving, exceptional parents who will establish adoptive families for exceptional children.

Recommendation(s)
CHAIRMAN GREG COX and SUPERVISOR DAVE ROBERTS

  1. Direct the Chief Administrative Officer to develop and launch “The Exceptional Families Adoption Campaign”, an aggressive targeted recruitment strategy to increase public awareness and support for children awaiting adoption, and specifically promote the opportunity and need for exceptional parents for these hard to place children and youth in need of an adoptive family.
  2. Direct the Chief Administrative Officer to identify potential community groups to assist with recruitment efforts to match children with families and reach out to agencies and organizations that can partner with the County to identify adoptive homes for exceptional children.

Fiscal Impact
There is no fiscal impact as a result of this action.

Background
In San Diego County, nearly 400 children are placed in loving, permanent, adoptive homes each year.  Currently, 45 hard-to-place children languish in foster care without hope of returning home due to situations beyond their control; parental rights have been terminated and attempts to place children with extended family have been unsuccessful..

Many challenges make it difficult to place this group of children in adoptive homes, including their age if they are school age or older; identification of behavioral, developmental, psychological, or medical disabilities; and sibling groups in foster care who do not want to separate. 

The County’s Adoption Program maintains successful, on-going recruitment efforts which include a current, long-standing partnership with KFMB-TV 8’s Adopt 8 program to actively recruit prospective adoptive families.  We also maintain the Adoptions Heart Gallery. The Gallery features waiting children at various venues throughout the county, in addition to using online resources to showcase these children.  Through our partnership with KFMB-TV 8 and the San Diego Chargers, we have produced an annual Adoption Recruitment Calendar which features exceptional children at play with professional football players from the team. 

Despite these efforts, more effective, aggressive and comprehensive methods are needed to increase public awareness and aggressively target additional exceptional parents by reaching out to groups and organizations for less-traditional adoptive families.  With today’s action, the County will develop and launch an Exceptional Families Adoption Campaign to recruit loving exceptional parents who would establish adoptive families for these exceptional children.

Linkage to the County of San Diego Strategic Plan
This item supports the Kids and the Safe and Livable Communities Initiatives in the County of San Diego’s Strategic Plan.  This also supports the County’s Live Well, San Diego! Initiative by promoting a healthy, safe and thriving community.                          

Respectfully submitted,

 

GREG COX                                                               
Chairman, First District

DAVE ROBERTS
Supervisor, Third District

 

AGENDA ITEM INFORMATION SHEET

REQUIRES FOUR VOTES:   [ ]        Yes      [X]      No

WRITTEN DISCLOSURE PER COUNTY CHARTER SECTION 1000.1 REQUIRED
[ ]        Yes      [X]      No

PREVIOUS RELEVANT BOARD ACTIONS: N/A

BOARD POLICIES APPLICABLE: N/A

BOARD POLICY STATEMENTS: N/A

MANDATORY COMPLIANCE: N/A

ORACLE AWARD NUMBER(S) AND CONTRACT AND/OR REQUISITION NUMBER(S): N/A

ORIGINATING DEPARTMENT: Chairman Greg Cox and Supervisor Dave Roberts

OTHER CONCURRENCE(S): N/A

CONTACT PERSON(S):
Danny Melgoza, 619-531-5511, danny.melgoza@sdcounty.ca.gov
Lindsey Masukawa, 619-531-5533, lindsey.masukawa@sdcounty.ca.gov