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Program Tries to Keep Foster Kids from Following in Their Parents' Footsteps

The Short of It

About 200 foster kids in Los Angeles County are parents themselves, according to A new pilot program, being voted on by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors today, hopes to lend these children the support they desperately need.

The Lowdown

When you're a foster child, you probably don't have a support system in place to help you raise kids of your own. A new project aims to match foster kids, who are pregnant or raising young children, with a family-mentoring team. The ultimate goal is to end the cycle of neglect the kids of former foster children experience.

A nonprofit organization called Imagine L.A. is behind the effort that would pair parents with about five volunteers to do things like run car pools, tutor kids and help the families set up bank accounts. The two-year pilot program will cost $202,000 and would be funded by a portion of birth certificate fees.

Another benefit of participating in the program is that families can qualify for federally funded rental assistance vouchers.

The Upshot

It truly seems like this program could lend much-needed support to families. As they say, it takes a village to raise kids, and if you don't have any villagers to support you, I can only imagine how tough that would be.

Harvey Kawasaki of the Department of Children and Family Services says the pilot program will help families who live within a 15-mile radius around Hollywood. If it's successful, the hope is to expand the efforts to help more former foster kids and their children.

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