Do you remember skipping rocks across a river as a child? The taste of ripe strawberries picked in the patch? Perhaps you remember the first time you roared along with the crowd at a big league game? Or going to a live theater performance? You have the opportunity to create memories like these and bring a world of wonder to a child in foster care.
At Wonder, a program of Sierra Forever Families, we match kids in foster care one-on-one with caring adults who are committed to encouraging, engaging, and enriching their young lives. With a focus on fun, each mentor guides his or her child through a year-long journey filled with excursions in music, the arts, sports, nature, volunteer services, and dining out. In many cases, these events are the child’s “firsts”, filled with adventure, excitement and self-discovery.
For others, it’s an opportunity to explore personal interests and talents. For all of them, it’s the stability of a consistent adult who encourages them to try something new, engages them in conversations, and enriches their lives. It’s a connection with an adult who believes in them.
New Guide Orientations for our 2014 classes:
January 25th - 10-11 a.m.
April 8th - 6:30-7:30 p.m.
July 12th - 10-11 a.m.
September 9th - 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, September 17th - 6:30-7:30 p.m.
If you would to attend the 2014 orientations, please RSVP via email to email@example.com
For more than 60,000 kids in California’s foster care system, typical childhood experiences may be completely alien. Removed from their homes because of severe neglect or abuse, most of the kids have faced unthinkable sadness and trauma. Some have never experienced life’s simplest joys and pleasures. While California’s foster care system provides them with the basics-food, shelter, and medical care -- many may not receive much else.
California Foster Care Facts:
- California has more than 60,000 kids in foster care. Three out of four children have been removed from their homes because of severe neglect; one out of four because of physical and/or sexual abuse.*
- 73% of children in foster care are six years of age or older.**
- 60% of kids remain in foster care for 18 to 42 months or more.*
- 69% of kids placed in traditional foster homes or group homes are moved three or more times.*
- California’s foster care system is struggling to provide children with the basics -- food, shelter and medical care. Three out of four kids wait 2-3 months to receive basic medical care and half of the kids in foster care are not receiving dental care or mental health services.*
- Approximately one-third of kids that age out of the system at 18 fail to complete high school. Nearly 25% experience homelessness, and unemployment rates hover near 50%. Almost 25% are arrested and spend time incarcerated.*
Sources:*Little Hoover Commission. 2003.
“Still In Our Hands: A Review of Efforts to Reform Foster Care in California.”
**University of California at Berkeley Center for Social Services Research website.
A little Wonder goes a long way!
- Better quality of life while in foster care - Each child experiences the kind of fun and adventure that brings big smiles and even bigger memories.
- Increased resiliency - Researchers have found that the single most important factor in building resiliency in children is the consistent presence of a caring, supportive person who provides unconditional love; nonjudgmental, active listening; and actions that communicate “I am here for you.”
- Increased self-confidence - Kids build confidence by doing. Encouragement and support can help a child feel safe enough to try something new.
- Improved academic participation and reduced risk of drug and alcohol use - Years of research on the benefits of mentoring confirm that children with a consistent, caring mentor participate in school more and are less likely to use drugs and alcohol.