Family Care - Supplying Basic Needs and Caring for Hearts
Family Care is a program from Finally Family Homes to show care for our youth like a loving and caring family. We serve transition-aged youth who’ve experienced foster care and need extra support as they grow into contributing, successful members of the adult community.
Youth aging out of foster care often have nowhere to go for the holidays. Their birthdays go by uncelebrated, they graduate alone and struggle alone. Sometimes they run out of money for food or diapers for their own babies.
Family Care is our response to fill in that gap and give our young adults the kind of care and attention and support that their peers with parents get. We’re there to help through hard times and celebrate the good times.
What Does Family Care Mean?
Family care is care that is provided for like a family, rather than the kind of care that is provided by institutions or professionals. One of the key issues that motivated us to start Finally Family Homes is the difference we saw in young adults from foster care who had experienced institutional care as compared to having a caring family-like experience.
The kids we know who were cared for by institutions disliked having hired caregivers. Many have become jaded and hopeless. But the youth we know who felt genuinely cared for, like a family, are the ones we’ve seen to keep up hope and excel in life. Caring like family makes an impact.
How We Show We Care Like Family
Consider, how do you show your family you care? It may look like having dinner together, giving gifts, or celebrating birthdays and accomplishments. It may mean having shared experiences together, sending cards, and showing up for important events. These are all part of our Family Care program.
One of the most heartbreaking things we’ve heard from youth is that their birthday didn’t even get recognized much less celebrated during their time in foster care. By celebrating holidays and personal milestones with our youth, we impart a sense of being valued members of our family community.
We care deeply about making sure our young adults hear that they matter and are worthy of being noticed and celebrated.
Family Care Meets Basic Needs
Our young adults struggle to get their basic needs met more than others. We’ve had our homeless college students reach out to us saying “I’m out of food and money” or “I’m on my last diaper for the baby!”
They try their best to do it on their own, but when things run out they are in quick need of immediate assistance. And we’re there to help them through it.
In fact, since so many more young adults have fallen into homelessness during the pandemic, we’ve started a new initiative – Car Care Packages. As we gathered groceries for a mom living in her car, we realized that food pantries don’t have many healthy foods that can be stored and prepared without a kitchen. Our Car Care Packages are packed with nutrition & ready to go to meet that last-minute call of “I’m living in my car and out food!”
Family Care Celebrates Holidays
We offer youth a place to go for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other major holidays. We celebrate with quality time, food, and gifts. We also help support our community partners in their celebrations.
With the help of Valencia Hills Community Church’s youth group, we wrapped presents, stuffed stockings, and made hand-written cards with inspirational quotes for the youth. Here are the gifts we delivered for the holiday party for former foster youth at LA Mission College.
Family Care Celebrates Birthdays
We’ve partnered with For Goodness Cakes to help us celebrate our youth on their birthdays and graduations. For Goodness Cakes matches volunteers to make and hand-deliver birthday cakes for us to deliver to our youth on their special day. Our young adults get to pick the flavors, theme, and favorite colors. It’s a sweet deal!
See the beautiful cupcakes made to order for one of our youth! We get to deliver these along with a small gift and hand-written card from Finally Family Homes.
Demonstrating Relationship Building Skills
Isolation is a key factor in many physical and mental health issues. It is nearly impossible to achieve any success in life in isolation. Trauma and past experiences often lead youth to isolate themselves and their relationship-building skills become under-developed, making them further isolated.
Having healthy relationships and building networks are important to enduring health and success.
By modeling healthy family care, we demonstrate relationship-building skills. We show them how to give healthy attention to others and invite them into their lives. Through healthy relationships, young adults can begin to build trust and respect for themselves and others.