Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Families Make it Official

Noe and Yvonne Garcia became certified foster parents with Aspiranet in January 2007. They became foster parents to help children in need of a home, but the Garcia’s were not thinking of adopting. They never expected to meet a child they could not let go of! Jade came to live with them in March 2007, and they quickly grew very attached to him. When it became clear that he would be going up for adoption, the Garcia's made the decision that they would adopt Jade. It was a long process, but through perseverance and commitment, Jade was adopted on National Adoption Day 2009! Jade’s photo is featured in the article linked below which was published in the Stockton Record. His face clearly shows how excited he was to have found his forever family!

Read the Stockton Record article:

More Flu Tips for our Foster Parents

The Centers of Disease Control recommends the following 4 steps to prevent the flu, including H1N1.

1) Hand hygiene: Wash hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing and sneezing. Alcohol based hand cleaners also work.

2) Cover mouth and nose: Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow or shoulder.

3) Stay home when sick: Keep the sick person (including you) home at least 24 hours after there is no longer a fever or signs of a fever (without use of fever reducing medicine).

4) Vaccination: Contact your foster child’s doctor regarding the seasonal flu and 2009 H1N1 fl u vaccines. If your foster child’s doctor recommends the H1N1 flu vaccination, please notify your Aspiranet Social Worker prior to your foster child receiving the vaccination. Your Aspiranet Social Worker will assist you in obtaining the necessary permission for your foster child to receive the vaccine.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Old Navy, Aspiranet join forces to help foster families

It’s a match made in heaven – Aspiranet’s commitment to foster families and a corporation with a will to support their inspiring work. Thus, while many simply advocate for the support of low-income families, Oakridge Old Navy and Aspiranet take action, last week delivering free clothing to nine foster children in three homes. Old Navy store manager Eric Jasmine personally visited the families at the San Jose Aspiranet offices to deliver the goods to the grateful kids.

The event inspired Jasmine to network with other store managers, resulting in a broader alliance between Aspiranet and Old Navy, to commence Nov. 30, when 10 stores – from the South Bay to the Gold Coast, including Oakridge, Fremont, Eastridge, Marina, Salinas, Gilroy, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Valley Fair, and Westgate – will place donation barrels in-stores for customers to join the effort. The donation program will run through Dec. 5.

Foster Parents: Make Holiday Preparations

So you’ve planned the meals, bought the gifts, decorated the house, sent cards… What else is missing? Don’t forget to talk to your social worker about your holiday plans.

• Do you need help providing gifts?

• Will you need respite?

• Are you going out of town to visit family, and do you plan to take the kids?

• Do you have any house guests arriving from out of town, and if so, have you discussed this with your Social Worker?

• How about the relatives? It might be a good idea to tell them about the children you are caring for and discuss any gift exchange expectations in advance.

• If the child wants to, and there is still a connection with the birth family, would it be appropriate to have a visit or send a card or gift?

•Will you be attending religious services? How does the child feel about that? Open discussion about their beliefs is permissible, but they should not be forced to attend if they are not comfortable with attending.

• Are all of you prepared to handle the long break from school? There are many fun and thrifty activities that can rescue any family from cabin fever. (Some of those ideas are included in this issue of the newsletter)

Friday, November 20, 2009

SNBC Newsletter - November 2009 Edition

Get the latest SNBC news in our bilingual November 2009 Newsletter (pdf). Download it now!

The fall edition of Westside Wave: News from SNBC features two exciting full-length stories. Gordon Lim, an instructor in SNBC's afterschool progam at Sunset Elementary, shares the story of how and why he's been a part of SNBC for 9 of the 19 years he's been alive. SNBC's West Sunset Rec Connect is taking environmentalism to a whole new level, infusing envrionmentally-friendly practices into all of Rec Connect's programs. Read all about it in the newsletter and click here to learn more about West Sunset Rec Connect.

Sign up here to learn about future SNBC news, programs, and events.

SNBC is part of the Aspiranet Network.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

An H1N1 (Swine Flu) Guide for our Foster Parents

With daily news reports regarding the H1N1 (Swine) flu, we’d like to take this opportunity to address this important public health issue with you. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the symptoms of H1N1 flu are similar to seasonal flu and include: fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, and fatigue. Some individuals may also experience diarrhea and vomiting.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that children with chronic health problems such as asthma, diabetes, and heart problems, are at higher risk of having complications from the flu. Young children under the age of 5 are also at higher risk for flu complications.

As foster parents, you may be caring for children who are new to your family and/or for whom you may not know all their medical history. For this reason it is especially important to recognize and watch carefully for the signs and symptoms of flu or unusual behavior that may be a sign that they are sick.

Due to this being an especially active flu season, please contact your foster child’s doctor and notify your Aspiranet Social Worker should your foster child show any signs of illness or flu-like symptoms. If your foster child or anyone in your family is diagnosed with the H1N1 flu, please notify your Aspiranet Social Worker immediately.

The CDC recommends that if a child is in a high risk category and is showing signs of the flu, to contact the child’s doctor immediately, as the doctor may prescribe medicine that will work best within the first 2 days of getting sick.

If your foster child does become ill, as foster parents, you may not give your foster child any over-the-counter medications that are not first approved by a doctor.

Therefore, please refer to the child’s home file for the Prescription for Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medications form (RF-45) for information about OTC medication for your foster child. If this form is incomplete or outdated, you must obtain direction from the child’s doctor regarding the type and correct dosage of over-the-counter medication for your foster child. If in doubt, please contact your Aspiranet Social Worker for assistance, before giving any OTC medication.

As always, please contact your Aspiranet Social Worker or District Director with any concerns or questions. Please notify your Social Worker if you are in need of assistance in caring for your family due to your or their illness. We are here to support and partner with you in caring for your family.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A message from our CEO

Dear Foster Parents,

As you are aware the State of California like the rest of the country has experienced an economic downturn unlike anything seen in decades. The California State Budget has been greatly impacted by the current economy. No doubt you have watched, as I, in dismay the debate between the State Legislature and the Governor on how “cuts” will be made to vital programs that support some of our most needy citizens. These are difficult times and difficult decisions have been made.

Unfortunately even care for foster children was not “spared” from the “chopping block”. Many of you participated in making our state leaders aware of how the children should not be “forgotten” in the debate. I want to personally thank you for your efforts.

As you may have heard, the State Legislature and the Governor agreed to “cut” foster care rates by 10% effective October 1, 2009. The loss of revenue to Aspiranet due to these cuts is nearly $1.8 million dollars over the next ten months.

For nearly thirty five years Aspiranet has provided care for children in foster homes. You are all part of a proud tradition of service to children. I am proud to declare to you that we will not reduce your foster care payments in the face of these historic cuts. Our support of your efforts is unwavering!

The staffs that support you have made a commitment to reduce spending, to reorganize the way we do our work and sadly say goodbye to some of their colleagues due to layoffs. I wish to acknowledge their steadfast support of you and your work.

Aspiranet has always met its financial obligations to its foster parents. Our focus is to not lose sight of our commitment to the future of children. I would ask you to direct any questions or concerns that you have to your District Director.

We will not stop our advocacy on behalf of children. Your voice as foster parents needs to continue to be heard. Efforts to restore our funding will not be an easy battle. As always, I will make myself available to foster parents to listen to your concerns. The Headquarters Phone number is 650.866.4080.

With gratitude for your commitment to children my best regards.

Vernon Brown, CEO

Monday, November 16, 2009

New Adoption Story

Check out the NEW inspirational adoption story posted to the Aspiranet Adoption Awareness Month site!


Get Your BVA T-Shirts!!

Recently the Central Coast Aspiranet office had its inaugural fundraising event called “The Black Vest Affair” Motorcycle Run. It was a lot of fun and a beautiful day for everyone. We are sorry that many of you could not attend. So we decided to offer t-shirts from the event!

These shirts are grey, long sleeve, 90% cotton – they have grapes with flames flowing down the right arm – the front has the name of the event on the top left hand pocket area and the back has the name of the event – Aspiranet and sponsors. All in all it is a great looking shirt (and warm too).

They are nice quality shirts and we thought that some of you may want to have one! The cost is $12.00 which covers the cost of the shirt and shipping. We still have all sizes from Medium to XXXL.

If you missed the event but would like to show your support click here to buy a T-shirt.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

BVA Sponsors 2009

Check out this SlideShare Presentation:

Adoption Awareness Month Ice Cream Social Celebration

Event: Ice Cream Social Celebration
Location: 2115 Wardrobe Avenue, Merced, CA (Map)
Start Time: 11/18/2009 2:30 PM
End Time: 11/18/2009 4:30 PM
A Collaboration of Aspiranet and Merced County HSA. RSVP to Jamie Moua at 209.725.2125.

Flyer: View the event flyer

Friday, November 13, 2009

Sacramento Adoption Day Resource Fair

Title: Adoption Day Resource Fair
Location: Sunrise Community Church, Fair Oaks, CA (Map)
Start Time: 11/21/2009 11:00 AM
End Time: 11/21/2009 3:00 PM
Description: Come learn from both families and experts about the challenges and joys of being a foster or adoptive family. Connect with local agencies about resources and options that are available to you.

Flyer: View the event flyer

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Come Join Us for an Adoption Day Celebration in Visalia

REACH and Tulare County Celebration
Location: Imagine U Children's Museum, Visalia, CA (Map)
Start Time: 11/14/2009 11:30 AM
End Time: 11/14/2009 2:30 PM
Description: REACH and Tulare County Adoptions invite Tulare County
Foster and Adoptive parents and their children to join us for a day of fun!
Flyer: View the event flyer

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Aspiranet celebrates National Adoption Awareness Month

Adoption Day is on November 21

November is National Adoption Month. On November 21, National Adoption Awareness Day, local communities will celebrate as thousands of foster children are adopted into families.

“There is no greater aspiration in life than to help children in need and together we can raise hope and empower communities,” said Art Chaparro, Director of Development for Aspiranet. “Every day children face family crisis. Hard as it is to imagine, children are often neglected, abused, abandoned, have special needs or disabilities. Children over the age of nine, teenagers, youths with special needs, and siblings especially need loving homes.”

For 30 years, Aspiranet, one of the largest foster adoption agencies in California, has been working to ensure that children are placed in permanent loving homes.

Older children, teenagers, youth with special needs, and siblings are especially in need of loving families to care for them. Will you help them?

To learn more about Adoption Awareness Month, find an event in your area, and read inspirational stories about Aspiranet adoptive parents, please visit www.aspiranet.org/awareness.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Get Your Tickets to the Black Vest Affair Motorcycle Run to Support Foster Children

Sunday, November 8, 2009
11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Robert Hall Winery, Paso Robles
$40 ride, lunch, shirt, and raffle ticket
$30 passenger ride and lunch

Registration - 1800 Grand Avenue, Grover Beach, CA
or Robert Hall Winery, 3443 MIll Road, Paso Robles, CA

All proceeds from this event will directly benefit the Central Coast Chapter of Aspiranet and help support foster children.

The charity ride starts up at 1800 Grand Avenue in Grover Beach, ending at Robert Hall Winery in Paso Robles, just in time to feast on a lunch prepared by Catering by Chef Charlie with live music.

Ticket holders will have an opportunity to enter drawings to win a trip for two to Las Vegas, cooking classes from Catering by Chef Charlie, and other donated raffle prizes.

For more information, please call 805.473.8760.

Sponsors include Robert Hall Winery, Catering by Chef Charlie, Rontal, Doughboys Pizza, It’s Your Party, and Toby Bellocchi of Tobyco Builders.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Toughing it Out

Siblings of Challenged Children (Emotional, Medical, Behavioral and/or Educational Challenges)

Siblings of children who have either acute or chronic challenges often "rise up" to meet a crisis and assist parents so the family can continue to function. But most have trouble sustaining that level of effort over time and need caretaking themselves. These kids are trying to cope with unusual circumstances that can exhaust their parents. Also, their peers often can't relate to their stress, which can leave them feeling isolated. This workshop will highlight key concepts necessary in attending to these "good kids" so they can continue to be supported to develop in a healthy way.

When: Thursday, Dec. 3, 2009 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Where: Children's Health Council
650 Clark Way
Palo Alto, CA 94304

Free (pre-registration is required)

For more info:
Sue Garber

(650) 617-3845