As National Foster Care Month comes to a close, we reflect on this past year and its impact on children and families in foster care and share resources for Mental Health Awareness Month. Read the latest from CLC in our May E-Newsletter.
May is National Foster Care Month
Did you know that there are more than 60,000 children in foster care in California?
Too many children in foster care faced debilitating isolation over the past year of the pandemic. As we slowly begin to transition into our pre-Covid routines, it is critical that we pay close attention to the changing needs of our young clients, and work proactively with community partners to support these children going forward.
CLC focuses on fostering both community and family connections for our clients, with the goal of every client having a ‘village’ of love and support as they navigate the system – and once they leave the system. In addition to striving for meaningful engagement in court hearings and case planning, we work to establish authentic relationships with our clients. Their thoughts, concerns and wishes are of the utmost importance. At CLC, we know well how important these connections are to our clients’, and their families’, long-term success.
As we reflect on this past month, we are grateful for the contributions of all our supporters that help us build connections with our clients so that we can help to elevate their voices, and build a system that truly listens to their needs.
May is (also!) Mental Health Awareness Month
Each May, we are reminded of the overwhelming prevalence of unmet mental health and developmental needs, with research indicating that 40-60% of youth entering the child welfare system need these services or interventions.
CLC’s in-house Mental Health Advocacy Team (MHAT) works to ensure that every CLC client receives appropriate mental health supports by helping our attorneys advocate for services and placements. Our MHAT staff strongly believe that mental health needs cannot be separated from ensuring that each of our young clients has a stable place to live and a connection to family and other loving and nurturing adults. We are proud of CLC’s multidisciplinary approach to supporting our clients, which offers access to a range of expertise on such issues as education to immigration to reproductive health.
We invite you to join us in raising awareness of the importance of mental health, and combatting mental health stigma, by reviewing the following resources:
- Mental Health Needs of Foster Youth
- Mental Health Protective and Risk Factors
- The effects of mental health stigma on youth
- National Alliance on Mental Illness
- Mental Health and Communities of Color
- Human Rights Campaign Supports Mental Health Awareness
- Tools to Thrive
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention – Children’s Mental Health
CLC kicked off this year’s Big Day of Giving (BDOG) with a Big Day of Self-Care! After a long year of navigating through seemingly endless pandemic-related challenges for our clients and for our families, we were ready for some relaxation.
On May 5, CLC’s Sacramento staff led our community of donors, friends, and supporters through a guided meditation, breathing techniques, and tips and tricks for mindfulness. The event was an opportunity to pause, take some ‘me’ time, and refill our collective cups.
We are thrilled to share that we raised over $10,000 this year and, as a bonus, our Sacramento team was featured on the “Good Day Sacramento” morning show! We are so grateful to everyone who attended the event, donated toward our BDOG efforts, and shared our posts on social media. Next year the big day will be bigger, better, and filled with more fun events! If you missed the event, you can head over to our website and visit the “BDOG” page to view the video.
Colleagues describe CLC Attorney Grace Wright as resourceful, dedicated, and uniquely skilled at connecting with her young clients – particularly those who struggle to open up and trust others. Grace started her career in the entertainment industry, but realized later in her journey that her true passion is child advocacy. She applied to law school, joined CLC as a public service fellow, and is now a staff attorney representing a full caseload of clients in their dependency cases.
Grace believes strong advocacy starts with good communication: “As attorneys, of course we have important legal obligations, but I always try to give each client a sense of agency in the legal process and show them that I respect their terms and their time.” Grace bases her approach to every case on the principle of empowering her clients, and looking for their strengths as opposed to focusing on their challenges.
Grace attributes her rapport-building skills to her own experiences as the oldest of six siblings, as well her experience as a character performer at Disneyland and teacher of pre-school theater classes during her pre-CLC life. No matter the source, CLC is certainly lucky to have Grace on board, and her clients are fortunate to have her as their advocate.
Thank you to Grace and all of CLC’s incredible staff members for your dedication and commitment to supporting children and youth!
CLC Hosts Successful Vaccination Event!
In partnership with LA County Board Supervisor Hilda Solis and CASA of Los Angeles, CLC hosted a vaccination clinic at CLC’s Monterey Park office on Saturday, May 15th for youth in foster care and their caregivers. The event was a resounding success! CLC thanks LYFT for their generous grant which provided transportation to the event, and Baby2Baby and LA Foodbank for their donations of baby and food supplies for attendees. We are grateful to Supervisor Solis for making this event a reality.
One shot down, one to go! Join us Saturday, June 5th for our second vaccination clinic.
CLC Kudos Corner
- Spread Generosity Challenge Winners! As part of BDOG, our team decorated our CLC offices and shared how we #SpreadGenerosity! Our display blew away the competition and we won $500 for our work in Sacramento.
- May is Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Visit the California Museum for free virtual programs highlighting the history and contributions of Asian Americans in California.