Southern California Program

Wayfinder Family Services

Civic and Community
Los Angeles, CA
December 2018

Wayfinder Family Services, formerly Junior Blind of America, provides a continuum of early intervention, educational, and workforce services for children and adults with vision loss, as well as a foster and adoption program, residential program for foster youth with medical or mental health conditions, and an emergency shelter for children awaiting a suitable placement.  The emergency shelter is the only one in Los Angeles County that accepts very young foster children.  In 2017, Wayfinder Family Services acquired foster family agency programs to expand its child welfare services.  Data show that very high percentages of foster children have physical, mental, emotional, developmental or learning disabilities.  Leveraging its decades of experience assisting children with disabilities, Wayfinder will recruit, train and support foster families so they are well-equipped to care for children with health or mental health challenges.  A Keck Foundation grant will fund the hiring of a dedicated recruiter and the development of a medical curriculum to train foster families.  Over the two-year project, Wayfinder will increase the number of foster families its supports from 90 to 150 and of these, 25 families will take in children with health challenges.  By demonstrating how to best recruit, train, and support foster families for this vulnerable population, the project can inform the field.

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