(Riverside County, CA) – It begins with “the call” – when a child requires foster care, the need is urgent. For Winchester family Jennifer and Jack Rutt, the call came five years ago when a little girl needed a safe, nurturing home.
“We always wanted a big family, and after our son was born a medical condition prevented us from having more children,” Jennifer Rutt explained. “We researched and the more we learned about the foster system, the more we wanted to provide a home for those kids.”
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. The Rutts completed their foster family training with Aspiranet in 2013, and since then have fostered 30 children.
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 the Rutts, Aspiranet can help children who need short-term care or lifelong homes.
“Watching a child blossom is the greatest reward you’ll ever have. We recently adopted our daughter and we’re also fostering two sets of siblings. Children deserve a secure, stable foundation,” Rutt said, adding that “Aspiranet has been right by our side, working hand-in-hand to ensure we have the skills and resources to meet the needs of these children.” Rutt’s advice for families who are considering fostering is they should be “empathetic, objective and flexible…you have the opportunity to positively impact a child’s life.”
“We work with families like the Rutts, 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.