influx of little ones who need foster homes

We have been seeing an influx of little ones removed from their families because they have been exposed to substance abuse, domestic violence, or physical harm. These children have experienced what most families could never imagine for their child. Because of what these children have endured, they need loving care and attention from the most nurturing of caregivers. Can you or someone you know offer the special kind of love they need? Please call our office today or visit our foster parenting inquiry page:

New television series about foster care called The Fosters

This is a welcome surprise. A new series called The Fosters on abc tv about 2 mothers who have foster and biological children.

Royal Family Kids Camp

Royal Family Kids Camp is a summer program for foster youth. Many of our foster families  send their children every summer and have given us positive feedback.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month April is national child abuse prevention month. There are many ways you can support this effort. Contact a Homeward Society representative  to find out how 714-642-5215.

Foster Teens and Graduation

According to the Exit Outcomes for Youth Aging Out of Foster Care Quarterly Statistical Report by the California Department of Social Services, less than half (49.5%) of foster youth leave care with a high school diploma or equivalency. Of those, only 40% of youth actually have a diploma – the remaining 9.5% have high school equivalency or proficiency certificates. Considering the statistics, foster children have the odds stacked against them.

A 1999 study found that California high school students who changed schools even once were less than half as likely to graduate as those who did not change schools, even when other variables that affect high school completion were controlled. Often times, foster youth are moved to different school many times.  

If you have a foster youth in your home who is on track to graduate soon, it is cause for a big celebration. Recognizing their achievements is important considering all the hard work they’ve put forward after tremendous life transitions.   Foster teens need support from someone that has no other motive but to see them succeed. Your cheering them on in their education and other goals has a profound impact on their self-esteem.  

Remember to make sure your foster teen celebrates achievements of junior and high school. Attending school as well as completing a grade level are important milestones in their lives. See that they are able to participate in the traditions and activities planned by the school.

If you haven’t already, talk to them about the future. What  are their interests? What do they invision themselves doing as a career? What and the steps involved to help them reach that goal?  

There are four main goals a young adult can prepare for :  

1. Obtaining a 4-year university degree;  

2. Obtaining a 2-year college degree;  

3. Obtaining a career/technical or trade certificate; or  

4. Enlisting in the military.  

Ask your teen which is most appealing to them. Go over the realistic steps required to achieve these goals and share some planning resources.

Foster Family Christmas Party

Homeward Society Foster Family Agency would like to express it’s gratitude to Aaron Al-Imam, foster parent and Newport-Mesa Church for hosting our Christmas Party on December 9. Also, we would like to thank Nick Horne for donating his time to take photographs of the event. We will be sending the photographs to Aaron Al-Imam for distribution to the families shortly.
The turnout of foster families and fost-adopt families was a success. Our foster families enjoyed taking pictures with Santa, eating some holiday snacks and helping deliver Christmas trees to families that are less fortunate. The children enjoyed jumping in the bounce house and receiving gifts.
Christmas is a perfect time to become a foster parent. We encourage you to visit our website to get more information on becoming a foster parent to children in Orange County and Los Angeles.

Jimmy Wayne

Country music singer and songwriter

Photo by Dean Kirkland

Jimmy Wayne has a public persona that is half right.  He is determined, generous, serious-minded, talented, selfless and an activist. But those who know him well also see a different side: playful, self-deprecating, sometimes bawdy and off color and often a bit of a jokester – and they are perplexed by the oh so serious image that has followed Wayne since his breakthrough hit “Stay Gone” captivated country music fans and critics alike with its release in 2002.

But Wayne himself gets it. His personal history dictates that there would be a serious air attached to him.  He grew up in Kings Mountain, NC. By the time he was 14 he had been in and out of the foster care system and attended 12 different schools in two years. His mother was in prison, and he had only his older sister, Patricia. When he was 15 years old, he found himself in juvenile detention for running away from a group home. At 16, he was still surviving by his wits, and living on the streets, until one fateful day when he met Bea and Russell Costner. The older couple (they were in their 70’s when they met Jimmy) gave him a home, the ability to complete his education, encouragement and most of all, stability and love.

Wayne has never been one to stand by and remain silent when he felt something needed to be said.  He has always spoken up and out through his music.  Addressing society’s downfalls has not been something he has ever shied away from.  Songs like “Where You’re Going,” “Kerosene Kid” and “Paper Angels” deftly spoke to issues faced by young children, particularly those from underprivileged backgrounds.  But in 2010 Wayne did more than write about it.  He not only talked the talk, he walked the walk, literally.

On January 1, 2010, he began a 1700-mile walk from Nashville to Phoenix, AZ in order to raise awareness of at risk youth in the Foster Care system that age out at 18, and without any support, often find themselves homeless. He walked though big cities and small towns. He joined politicians in capitol cities and the Nation’s Capitol to rally representatives for support. He joined organizations like CASA and FosterClub to speak out for these kids. And he created an organization called Project Meet Me Halfway to keep the message going long after he crossed the finish line in Phoenix on August 1, 2010.

Jimmy Wayne is the sum of his experiences—the good and the bad. And he will tell you he is grateful for every one of those experiences because they made him the complex man he is today.

Victoria Rowell

Television/Film Actress

Film and television star Victoria Rowell works diligently to raise awareness about the issues surrounding foster care. In her poignant memoir, The Women Who Raised Me (HarperCollins), she shares her own incredible journey from foster care to fame taking time to honor the people who helped shape her life along the way. The NAACP recognized the bestselling book as the 2008 Outstanding Literary Work by a Debut Author.

Victoria is a versatile actress of theatre, television and feature films. Her television credits include The Cosby Show, Diagnosis Murder and her iconic role of Drucilla Winters on the CBS daytime drama The Young and the Restless. She successfully introduced a foster care storyline into the drama, for which CBS has received several awards and national recognition. Victoria’s credits on the silver screen include The Distinguished Gentleman, Dumb and Dumber, Eve’s Bayou and the recent war drama Home of the Brave. Currently, Victoria is penning her next book, Secrets of a Soap Opera Diva and has been busy on the campaign trail supporting presidential candidate Senator Hillary Clinton.

Victoria entered the Maine foster care system as an infant, and lived in a number of homes with nurturing foster parents who helped identify her talents and shape her future career. At the age of sixteen, after eight years of formal training, Victoria received scholarships to the School of American Ballet and American Ballet Theater in New York City. After a series of tours with Ballet Hispanico, the Julliard School of Music and Twyla Tharp Workshops, Victoria began her modeling and acting career.

Success has given Victoria a voice for foster children. She is the recipient of 12 NAACP Image Awards and an inspirational role model to thousands of young people in foster care. In 1990, she formed the Rowell Foster Children’s Positive Plan a non-profit organization that provided both job placement opportunities and enrichment programs for children in foster care. In 1998, she became a national spokesperson for Casey Family Services, speaking before legislators, child welfare workers and business leaders across the country.

Victoria takes special interest in helping young people successfully transition from foster care to independence. In 2000, she worked with Sony and CBS Television to establish an internship program for foster youth, giving them opportunities to work behind the scenes of some of Hollywood’s most successful television programs. Victoria says:

“Young people develop a stronger self-image, build confidence and gain a sense of achievement as they participate in the fine arts, athletics, summer camp and job programs. Just as it was for me, these types of experiences offer essential frameworks for being successful in life.”