As former foster youth and their new adoptive families celebrated National Adoption Day on November 16, Public Counsel and the Alliance for Children’s Rights announced a first-of-its-kind project to help newly formed Los Angeles families stay together and thrive.
The new project will be funded by a grant from the Everychild Foundation, which every year gives $1 million to fund a project to transform the lives of children.
The Everychild Foundation Families Forever Project will ensure families adopting children from the foster care system or becoming legal guardians to children without parents have long-term free legal advocacy to access the mental health, educational, and developmental support children need.
“We believe that children who have been victims of neglect or abuse and the families who adopt them deserve the best,” said Hernán Vera, President and CEO of Public Counsel. “By launching the Families Forever Project, we are joining with the court to say that our commitment to these kids and their families doesn’t end on adoption day, that’s when it really starts.”
“The Everychild Foundation Families Forever Project will help families adopting children from the child welfare system to be successful, not just at day one, but forever,” said Janis Spire, President and CEO of the Alliance for Children’s Rights.
“The women of Everychild are thrilled to be able to make this innovative new project a reality,” said Jacqueline Caster, Founder and President of the Everychild Foundation. “It is our hope that it will be a new national model showing how having the appropriate services available to families with children adopted from the foster care system can help to assure permanency and happy outcomes.”
The Families Forever Project will offer all adoptive families and legal guardians to children a full-scope assessment developed with UCLA researchers to determine what mental health, educational, developmental, or other needs they may have. Then it will pair adoptive families and legal guardians with attorneys and social workers trained to help families secure the support they need. Over its first two years, the project is projected to reach more than 2,300 children, from toddlers to teenagers.