(Ventura County, CA) – It begins with “the call” – when a child requires foster care, the need is urgent. For Oxnard single-mother Ana Padilla the call came when two young boys were in immediate need of a safe, nurturing home.
“I’ve always had in my heart the desire to help the most vulnerable victims in our community… children, who through no fault of their own at their very young age endure some of the most intolerable life experiences,” Padilla explained.
In California, roughly 50,000 children live with either relatives or foster parents who provide both short and long-term care during periods when the child is unable to live with their birth parents. Aspiranet provides foster care and adoption services at 11 community-based sites statewide, connecting children with families who can provide a safe, stable and loving home environment. Ana Padilla completed her foster family training with Aspiranet in 2014, and since then has fostered nine boys.
Children come into the foster care system for multiple reasons, none of which are their fault. Aspiranet specializes in foster care and adoption. Once placement occurs, foster parents receive comprehensive training, in-depth educational programs, one-on-one counseling and ongoing 24/7 support and guidance. Working in partnership with families, Aspiranet’s mission is to reunite children with their birth parents if and when they can return home safely. And thanks to the flexibility of families like Padilla’s, Aspiranet can help children who need short-term care or lifelong homes.
Padilla has two biological sons and started fostering when her boys were young teenagers. “As soon as I had the opportunity to help foster children, I began. There is an amazing sense of gratification when you help a child who has been deprived of love, nurturing and sometimes even food, clothing and proper shelter,” Padilla said. “In Aspiranet I found an unbelievable support system, they’re like a team,” Padilla added. Padilla’s advice for families who want to help foster youth, “there’s a huge need, and I hope people will step up, even starting as respite care providers to assist families who are fostering. I believe that making a difference in the life of just one person is very well worth it.”
“We work with families like Ana Padilla’s surrounding them with support services, so they can be successful in providing a caring, nurturing haven for children and youth in need,” said Diane Warne, Aspiranet Foster and Adoptive Families Division Director. “We are here to support our children and families every step of the way.”
Aspiranet is a 501(c) (3), California nonprofit organization with the mission of providing children, youth, and families with a foundation of support and services so they can succeed at home, at school, and in their communities. Aspiranet provides a comprehensive suite of services including foster family support, adoption through foster care, support for foster youth transitioning to adulthood, mental health services, residential care, intensive home-based care, and community-based family resources. For more than 40 years, Aspiranet has impacted more than 35,000 children, youth and parents at 33 community-based sites statewide. For more information, visit www.aspiranet.org.
Contact: Lysa Urban, Consortium Media 805-654-1564 x117