Local News

Tribal donation supports Yolo County foster youths

By From page A5 | October 11, 2012

The Yocha Dehe Community Fund, one of the first philanthropic organizations established by a Native American tribe, has donated $48,500 to serve Yolo County youths in foster care. Woodland Community College’s Foster & Kinship Care Education Foundation received the funds.

Over the past decade, the Yocha Dehe fund has donated more than $18 million to nonprofit organizations and service providers in Yolo and Sacramento counties, and other organizations to support education, community health, arts and culture, the environment, community development and social services.

The contribution will benefit children placed into foster care by supporting efforts coordinated by Cherie Schroeder to build a stronger network of local families willing to welcome youths in need of safe and stable homes.

“Ultimately, we hope to build a broader, more diverse pool of caregivers so that children placed into out-of-home care can continue to live in local families that are ready and able to meet their needs in homes that allow them to maintain their friends, schools and neighborhoods,” Schroeder said in a news release.

Of the 250 dependents in Yolo County foster care, 65 are 16 to 20 years old, she said.

“Do you have an extra bedroom? Can you make time to sit down at dinner, and simply ask, ‘How was your day?’ With kindness, time and caring attention, you may change the course of the life of a foster youth. Are you someone a child can safely come home to?” Schroeder said.

Schroeder’s program offers in-depth pre-service training and continuing education classes, taught by professionals, foster parents, former foster youths, therapists and county social workers. Local foster families serve to support one another and connect regularly at ball games, barbecues and holiday events.

Caregivers are paid a monthly reimbursement rate to cover basic needs, and the county provides foster children with medical and dental coverage.

With this new tribal funding, now all children coming into county-licensed foster care get to shop for essential personal items that may include clothing, personal hygiene items and school supplies, Schroeder said.

Foster youths may enroll in classes on how to apply for jobs, prepare for interviews and obtain college resources, including financial aid. Woodland Community College has partnered with foster youths so they are able to concurrently enroll at the college and have credit transferred toward their high school graduation.

To learn more about Yolo County foster care and adoption from foster care, attend information sessions from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, in Room 727 at Woodland Community College, 2300 E. Gibson Road, or 6 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 29, in the Community Room at the Turner Branch Library, 1212 Merkley Ave. in West Scramento.

For more information, call Schroeder at 530-574-1964 or visit www.yolofostercare.com.

Special to The Enterprise

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