A two-year W. M. Keck Foundation grant is supporting a pilot project to address the lack of accessible child care for abused children, which is a major barrier to securing foster home placement. In partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), CCRC will recruit and train family child care providers to provide emergency child care for children under age five entering the foster care system.
The project will start with five providers located in three communities in the San Fernando Valley where nearly 70% of the children who are removed from their homes live. These providers will be paid to keep one space open for a DCFS referred child. CCRC will continue to recruit providers as spaces are filled in the targeted communities as well as surrounding areas, including the Antelope Valley.
A child care navigator will work alongside a DCFS eligibility worker and the resource family to transition the child to a permanent, subsidized child care space. During the pilot, at least 40 young children will be placed in an emergency child care space and many more will access quality child care through an enhanced referral process between DCFS and CCRC.
Key project goals and measurable objectives:
- Recruit and train up to 15 family day care providers willing to provide emergency child care for children ages six weeks through five years
- Maintain five emergency slots at any one time for children ages six weeks through five years old who are removed from their home in Panorama City, Pacoima and Van Nuys
- Place up to 40 DCFS referred children in emergency child care
- Provide coaching to family day care providers serving DCFS referred children on an emergency basis
- Transition 80% of the children from DCFS funded emergency child care to other subsidized care
Lessons learned will be used to inform replication of the project countywide and provide the data needed to make the case for child care funding for foster children through state legislation.