LBISD Promises2Kids

Friday, May 18th


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Good morning and welcome to another edition I'm living better in San Diego public service presentation of the and it comes San Diego radio stations and Jerry Lee. Promises to kids is creating a brighter future for Foster youth in San Diego County. They provide them with the tools and guidance may need to overcome the difficulties of their past. And grow into healthy happy and successful adults they do this through their unique programs and services which we will talk about today. Joining us this morning is promises to kids CEO of time it's Rosie and and guardians scholar Caitlin who's FaceBook and Tonya welcome kaelin's. Power play great to be here at good morning. And my mean that's to have them both of you on the show time let's start with cute look let's talk a little bit about promises to kids in some of the background information on the organization if you would. Yes of course promises to kids was originally founded as the child abuse prevention foundation. Nearly forty years ago. And we were founded to support abused and neglected children and a local community. And over the years. We've grown to support the currently 3000 children that live in Foster care. In our local city or county now what is what is the mission. Promises to kids our mission is to create a brighter future for Foster children. And we believe in education as one of the main ways to give them. A leg up and and to really give them the tools to change their future for future generations the really. Breaking the cycle child abuse through changing their circumstance of course we originally founded as a child abuse prevention foundation our mission back and really was about out. Making sure that we increased awareness about the issue of child abuse because back then it was a family issue is considered to be so nobody really spoke about it. And nobody wanted to open up. Asked for help regarding child abuse and so our founders. Did a lot of wonderful early work to. And raise the issue bring it to lighten our community. And by doing that really have been able to expand services and supports these children. When did the ad the name change in and widening changed when did that come about our name change in around 2090. When we when we took a look at ever current programs and services and needs at fox cheese. And awareness had been raised a point in which child abuse is no longer a hidden issue. And we wanted to focus on those kids that were already in care so this party been removed from. Their helmet origin and placed in Foster care and really when it looked at our services. And the best impact that we wanted to mate for these children it was about what can we do while they're in care and after Foster care. So that's really why you wanted to changer in a promises to kits. Love the name to yes yes it says it all pretty much. Nath definitely and know that and I was at the forefront of what we're doing is what promise can we make to used to make sure that they have Whitney. And how many children are in the Foster care system here Sammy cam. There's three dozen children any given day that are living in Foster care distance and you can now and I read it over 80% of Foster care children struggle with mental health challenges now. Is that overall is that here in San Diego County that's an overall but it does ring true to our local communities so it's a pretty. Stable statistic across the country and fortunately. Most of it is a result of the trauma that they experience early on in life well they work. At their home origin. Related to their trauma of their abuse. And then of course living and care being separated from family. And been. I oftentimes through victimized Alan Foster care it just compounds the issue. And how long have you been with promises to kids I promises to kids that ten year cytec. I was here as a development director raising money for quite some time and then I came back as CEO seven years so total of ten years. And in what was it about to have promises to kids what was it that. Caught your ride your attention of major wanna work I've always worked with Foster Childrens are read out under grad nearly 25 years ago. And I started social workers I knew. There needs and the thing that really. Pulled my heart what is that children need to have a voice I feel oftentimes in Foster care if you're used. Your disregarded or you don't have the ear of somebody who can assist you and so. What I liked about promises to kids is it really was focused. On change scene. Quickly and and able to meet. Needs of used as they stay our mini so really be you know to say to a young person or child in care what you name what's missing. And then coming behind the private funding to make sure that happens and how how what's what's the age. The that a child stays in in the Foster care system hasn't been extended it has yes so extended Foster care. It was something that started over three years ago and basically. It extends the age. Emancipation aging out eighteen. All the way up through the end of the 21 birthday. Unfortunately seen with that. Is even though the time for him has changed the same challenges they're facing those 21 year olds in terms of homelessness. Lack of completion of education and reliance on government programs because to have them prepared and it just seems if I guess kick the football down the field a couple of years but we haven't solved the problem. And and homelessness is that it's quite a problem. With with Foster youth right yes that one in three and a homeless eighteen 21 month app. Her Foster care because I've done other shows in which we've dealt with thin and talked about Foster youth. And and then always seems to be topic of conversation. It is if you can imagine leaving. Your home at age eighteen or 21 and all the sudden not have been one person. Who would help you out if you. Need is that they rent mate or something happened area catastrophe where your car broke down he had to spend that money some place you have no safety net. And nobody else through. And so. It makes it very easy unfortunately to fall into homelessness especially in a city like in Italy to soak since yeah they'll support system and it's gonna make it very difficult for. Very difficult yes you have four. Core programs. It promises to kids who talk about those sure absolutely let's start with here. Can't connect tell us about that now can't connect is the unique program with only one in standing provides this type of program and we do that because and the county came to us ten years ago and said. You know we're seen an issue of Brothers and sisters when they come into Foster care they've experienced a beast together they've. Sometimes been their only ally. Or support system and and overtime one is laced with one Stanley another with another and then split up. And that happens about 50% of the time with our youth and so that challenges. What happens to those children if they lose that relationship. The county said how could we better make sure that they Elise can visit and see each other in a meaningful. And says the county and promises to kids came together to form can't connect and now. We run that program this summer camp. And then ten different date cancer at the and so it's just one summer camp is it's one of seventeen year. In and the monthly one's yes and on a monthly lancet that they maintain that connection there at the year. And a hat out of how kids get into this this program. So their social workers at a county social worker ruler for them to promises to get where Foster parent can't. North Carolina and Groupon can also were far and then we go through and make sure that we contact and get them ready for camp we make sure that we know. Where their sibling is at their sibling hasn't been referred we tracked them down to make sure that we can bring Oliphant. Now and I've read some some pretty positive statistics regarding. Your camps now 187% of children maintain some form of contact with siblings between advanced 50% of caregivers. A notice improve behavior yes in participants. What are some of the other results. That you're seeing as a result of these camps now. A lot of statistics on that Mikey said he listed those but I feel the biggest thing really is that people. Children grow up knowing their fan they grow up. Being able to. Quantify. If you say to them who do you have in your corner they can now say I have my brother my sister have a relationship. And Timmy. That means everything I mean I can't imagine I have a brother and I can't imagine. Because of no fault of my own coming in Foster care and only support I have Armisen disappear and becoming estranged. And to me that's. Not only is it unfortunate and it's it's cruel and it's something that the system does. Viet unintentionally. But the result is saints dutchman. And these cancer they'd like like any other summer camper or. Day camp and you do the same kind of things absolutely legal to Gillian. And it's a forty summer camp and they have. Rock climbing and they bring in horseback riding an aids even done that the big pool and they do a bunch of free time up there to have big field sometimes they've done obstacle courses slip and slide a variety of defending and the highlight is the talent show. So they get up on I think it's Saturday night and everybody is encouraged to participate and they go as long it takes the ball. You know 10225. Kids can perform and it's it's pretty remarkable that's great. Another program of viewers is Foster funds what's this yes so Foster front. Came out. A couple of calls we've received from Foster parents or from social workers sane. You know we just could use a little bit of financial assistance to. Send this child can't or they can participate in this but we can't for the school uniforms on. On and on with different one time expenditures and so what we found is that this should not be a barrier this financial. Amount which usually is quite small should not be a barrier to a Foster child being able to enjoy the simplicity that many busted child. So with stab us to fund. And any child in Foster care after the age of eighteen can write in or have there so shorter right in their Foster parent and request some. So sometimes it's a camera cements its dance lessons that can be promise could be a variety of things and we'll just grant that wish. Now that the kids that go through your your programs. So they're all referred to you or how how does that work yes so we have a close partnership with a caddie standing Coachella for services. And they refer. Used as all of this time so those say for example I had this young person who could use. Can't connect services. We also have a relationship with all of the other Foster care providers so. Bill referees tests. Or mentor support so we've been because they've been around so long. Not only do we network of folks that work in the field that the use have. Current and former boss you have sort of this and I don't know what you call it. I'm not scheduled that that really a network of themselves it was you know they share resources and where I was one of the ones. And and there's no cost your services there's no cost us services where a 100% privately funded. And so we do that through community we do it through foundation grants individual contributions corporate support. And and another program. Polanski children's center. Now this is a San Diego county's emergency center for children and and if I'm not mistaken promises to kids raised twelve million dollars to build this facility. Yes that was our first major project so when we started in 1981. It was a goal of replaced seen. The existing county shelter was too small antiquated. Kind of run down and so when we approached the county in the county didn't have the funds in the general fund to do that so. Our founders said will raise the money and that's figured out so the county donated the land. Which is seven acres and then we raced twelve million built it and then turned it over as a gift to the Kelly. And what happens here at the at the center I mean what what what happens when a kid shows up there. Well right now it's it's attending a sinner so to average like the stay is about 7 days am although they can stay at to attend. And they county will bring women and to the senator make sure that they are safe they get their needs and that they do assessments on the Lam in terms of what's services they need. And then they go out and they look for an appropriate Foster hammering group complacent relatives. Could they go back home. What are all of the decisions of accounting estimate to make sure that this child. Makes it to their next to happen it could be they've secured the damning words and at places could be safe for them to go so it's a temporary shot. And at the fourth corps program of yours is guardian scholars. Tell us about that yet so guardian scholars. Is fifteen years old now. And that we is started it with a goal. Looking at extending. Opportunities for education to former Foster youth as there. Reaching back then age eighteen around their own. To really give them an opportunity to come back those statistics of homelessness and and and make sure that they Wear. On their path to creating a self sustain future. As we did that through education. And it's grown and now we support kids starting in high school college scrap with vocation. Exploration different college tour is finding out what's their passion and then finding a path to help them get there. And then our collegiate program is this year to be a 125 students and they can go anywhere all over the country. And we provide them win in addition to that money that they received. Pell grants for education we support them with mentoring case management and is financial scholarship and who one's that'd mentoring. The youth in the program. So volunteers and community members and they can volunteer how we train them screen and pair them up with the young adult and and there are mentors. And that Kaelin you are India regarding scholars program. How long have you been in this program I mean guardian scholars program for two years now entered. Me freshman in college. But I was in the junior guard in college program. When I was in junior high school doing SAT Pratt and going on college taller San Francisco scene colleges in the Bay Area. So so this program. Helped you to get to where you're at right now when wordy go to school now I trailing got a glut San Marcos and the second year. I am majoring in liberal studies with a depth of study in sociology. And my goal is to become especially elementary school teacher. So how has this program. Aside from help you get where you're at how has this helped this program has helped me in like a few different ways I mean. Give aid and scholarship. Money to help pay for my books and the dorms at a live and am I being given a mentor who has been a big help in my life when it teaching me like skills and was in time a young age. Such as car insurance. How to budget my money because that can be pretty difficult sometimes. I've also been assisted with too green to make sure that it passed my classes and that I'm gonna succeed. How old are you. I'm trailing nineteen news nineteen are you still in the Foster care system gap I'm currently index and it Foster care program. And outlook until I can claim one exe how long you've been in the system I didn't ask assistance in 2007 announced they canceled. I entered the system because of nuclei and physical and emotional b.'s from my mom my band and I entered the system again. And unfortunately we were able to stay connected. After a first place me. And so we did get moved around a lot of times I've been in fourteen different Foster care placements. And I don't remember how many schools I've been in quite a lot. Promises is also helped me. With their can't connect program as well. My brother and I wing in 2011. Report days we went slip in fighting in. Because of us not living together and Foster homes we really were able to create their relationship. And share memories that I still carry with me today. I mean we went to a mean we rode horses for the first time ever and we only events you get pie in go gold mine means that. So arts and crafts so when you saw in the 2011%. The first time in how many years that you've seen him. We have some visitation but not a lot of film may be light. How and say here's just a few months now but but the but the bond wasn't wasn't what it was before he our country. And it really spent that much time with him he actually is even though it was just four days it felt like a wife Eileen now so can't connect. Helped connect to back with with your brother in and year now communicating with him he out Leo. That's great to hear so so promises to kids. Where would you be without them. And now and without permits is. I it is ready to be this far in my college career I mean. I don't know if I'd be able to pay for financially I mean their scholarship does really help with books and stuff because without it. And the books to do your homework and you know passing classes. A lot of their life skills they've taught me themselves or even my mentor who's a volunteer for promises. I would have learned because if I am and then currently have that person to step up to the plea and be that person that support person for me. So so not just help you get into college but overall they've they've helped immensely staff and and you have couple things going on. This month may. First of all mate is national Foster care month. It is and promises to kids has partnered up with the local restaurants for relief duties for Foster kids campaign tell us about that. Yes so it's our first year doing this campaign so were really excited to be able to partner with. Several different restaurants to what we challenge them to do is. Picket few items on their menu. And highlight them and I reach out to the community and every time that one of those items has ordered either a full or percentage of the proceeds based on the restaurant. Comes directly back to promises to do is to support their children itself is not only community awareness campaign for us. But it's also way that companies and consumers can get back. To really support a child so it's not a percentage. Of their days worth of sales it's a particular item or particular items correct and some restaurants are doing multiple items and summer doing. One specific items it was really about making certain that when you're there it's calling out this is at least her Foster care items that I'm interested in supporting. To have people know about those items have they find out about them on our website there is a detail about each of the restaurants. And the items and then you can also when you get to the restaurant. They'll have unsigned engine to note that as well Allen and the servers well we'll bring you to that but honor website is all of the information. And this is going on through the entire month of may right yes to the entire month for the rest hasn't made the month long commitment to these ends. And you know how many restaurants you've got signed up. We have twelve currently. But if there's anyone out there listening I want to join up I will never say no support ticket so it what are some of the restaurants that to have or assign teachers we have barber Alice edges of the way up. And they're doing a really fun lemon. Kind of pancake. And then there's 264 fresco in Carlsbad bunds which is always fun that the mission valley. And then we have Kathy to Tutu downtown crack Shaq. Both of their locations. Cupcakes island Il. Duct diet and you place and Pacific beach in Contra north park. Judges Kremer an insidious it's great excrement you got to take. Pacific Del Mar terra American eastern and village to. And and again. All month long. And people find out info as to what items they are at your website and what restaurants correct yes now another thing you've got going this month the you have a 31 day challenge. You put the challenge out San Diego and tells about this. I am where we're really excited about Maine. Dean of Oscar whereas month because it really allows the community to learn more about Foster care. I'm allows us to be able to get the word out about the need to be as. So this year we decided to focus on raising funds and support for siblings as cute and it talked about can't connect and so the importance of so what we're doing is we're asking individuals. To donate at two dollars today minimum. And that's all it costs to support a brother and sister to go or can't connect program. So we're looking for somebody to commit to going online and you could start page of fundraising page like many of the different. Campaigns and starts as spreading the word about Foster care and biting your friends and family to donate two dollars. The day in May and and help us get to oracle sued not necessarily asking one person to donate two dollars today themselves but they can't do that. They can act in fact that's all that we needed and we hope that you will send it out to your friends and family and and join us and getting now awareness and funds for kids that yes absolutely. And again has any money raised from this and in the money race from. On the equity for authorities for Foster kids campaign the money raised. Is that going to anything in particular you did mention can't connect yes so police are Foster care is going to support any of our programs how answer all of our programs. But the main campaign is specific to camp connect that's. Now what kind of volunteer opportunities you have you mention of course mentors. For the guardian scholars program yes so are always looking for mentors for that we have about a 125 easy years so that's the number of renters we do need. Russell looking for volunteers to serve as camp counselors. So going out with us over those four days. We asked permanent commitment 24 hours because they want the same person do. And starts today with a child to take them through the night to make sure that there there. So that the very next morning in that had a continuous support so we're looking for camp counselors and then we're also looking for just general volunteers have their at the year. Either administratively or act date camps that can't enact stricter holiday drive writing different topic. And you mentioned that there there is training for those that wanna become mentors that you offer training that yes not only do we do and and also for the camp tells Natalie du du intensive. Training. Around. Trauma. The impact it has on children and then how you would supported youth but we also do ongoing tree so variety of topics throughout the year as they come up. A really important to keep basically keep top of mind and also provides support to our volunteer so somebody las become a volunteer how to go about doing that. They can go online and there's a volunteer at page and all I have to do is click and that email will go directly or volunteer manager and we'll get attached. And there's also a list of orientation on my idea to do is to come up to the next orientation. Or call any special requirements that are needed. Yes you have to be at least a 121 for most of our work with children and summer 25 depending on if you're mentor we really want to be a little bit older continue to be paired up with some of our older youth. Other not yet to pass a background of fingerprinting. Okay now what's your website address promises the number two kids dot org. And are you want social media we are so we have FaceBook page and we Twitter and we have instant so again food is for. Foster kids that is through the month of may. And all the information is that you website for that yes then of course you're 31 day challenge. Also information website and absolutely and if you prefer to call and get more details absolutely can help you with navigating through setting up the page to help raise awareness or. Just taking a gift online I'd great. Tonya and Kayla and thanks for being on the show today appreciate all that you do. And tough promises to kids and came continued success to you and he. Concludes another edition of living veteran San Diego the opinions expressed on living better San Diego do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views. Of the staff the management of the and a count San Diego radio stations. Episodes of living veteran San Diego are available on the station's website. Join me next week when my guest will be from the San Diego workforce partnership. Until that apparently. Have a great week.