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F is for Family: Noteworthy Foster Care and Adoption Agencies

What is foster care and why should we care about it?

According to Child Welfare Information Gateway, foster care (also known as out-of-home care) is a temporary service provided by the state for children who cannot live with their families. Children in foster care may live with relatives or unrelated foster parents. Foster care can also refer to placement settings such as group homes, residential care facilities, emergency shelters, and supervised independent living.

Children’s Law of California which is the largest legal services organization in the country—advocating for over 33,000 children and youth in Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Placer County foster care systems—states that on any given day, there are nearly 437,000 children in foster care in the U.S., with over 60,000 children being admitted in the foster care system just in California. That’s 60,000 children—a lot of them from our own neighborhoods—who were deprived of a stable, safe home, and the right to a worry- and abuse-free childhood.  

May is “National Foster Care Awareness Month” and we’d like to shine the spotlight on some fantastic local organizations that are making fostering and adoption a reality for families in our community. Read on to learn more about them and find out how you can join the cause.


There were 58,072 California children in foster care last year who were in dire need of proper nutrition, shelter, and protection. Non-profit organizations like these, help eliminate barriers for loving families to fill those needs.

There are so many ways to get involved if you want to support these great organizations. No matter your time, availability or resources, there’s a way for you to join the cause. From opening your home to volunteering your time—even donating financially—you can make a difference. Here are just a few ways to get involved:

FosterHope Sacramento hosts their first annual “Run to Foster Hope” 5k Marathon on May 15th, celebrating Foster Care Awareness Month. You’re invited to help bring awareness and support for FosterHope’s programs and enjoy a fun event—all at McKinley Park in midtown Sacramento. There will be vendors, food trucks, and kids’ activities. For more information or to register, visit

Koinonia Family Services hosts their 8th Annual Golf Tournament on May 6th at The Ridge Golf Club in Auburn. 100% of the proceeds benefit the foster and adoptive children in Placer County. There will be cocktails, lunch, dinner, tee prizes, auctions, and awards. For more information or to register, visit

If you would like to donate your time, FosterHope Sacramento welcomes volunteers! Visit to fill out the application.

And, of course, the greatest need is for loving homes to open their doors to foster children. If you would like to learn more about fostering or adoption, all of these organizations provide helpful information and a plethora of resources.

What is foster care and why should we care about it?


Sierra Child & Family Services ( have been serving the children and families of Northern California since 1988. They started out helping foster boys with emotional disturbance but now they’re a fully licensed adoption and foster agency. They have seven locations throughout Northern California and serve our region through their Diamond Springs office. Sierra Child and Family Services says they’re committed to the mental and emotional health of those they serve. They are an Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT) provider with outpatient mental health clinics. They also provide individual, group, and family therapy because they know how critical these services are to creating healthy, supportive communities for children and their families.

Koinonia means “fellowship” in Greek and it refers to a committed, trustworthy, and dependable relationship—this is the heart of Koinonia Family Services (, headquartered in Loomis. Their story began with one woman, Miriam Golden, fostering 37 children over the course of 16 years. After being repeatedly prompted by county workers, she decided to start a foster agency. Miriam’s heart and dedication continue to inspire everything Koinonia does 40 years later. Their mission is to bring hope and healing to children, youth, and families through meaningful relationships and quality programs and services. Out of their 32 offices in 22 cities across California and Nevada, they provide early intervention and prevention services, foster placements, homes for teens, adoption services, and short-term residential therapeutic programs.

Families For Children, Inc. ( is a full-service, non-profit adoption and foster care resource agency in Roseville. They assist in finding permanent adoptive families for foster children and provide caring short-term foster homes for children temporarily removed from their biological parents. They serve Northern California with extensive services. To make adoption more readily possible, they offer no-fee adoption from foster care and adoption finalization without an attorney. In addition, they facilitate training and support on the adoption and foster journey via 24-hour emergency services, therapeutic treatment services, in-home support visits, and training in parenting skills.

The Family Network, Inc. ( is a nonprofit, licensed adoption agency in Roseville whose staff of social workers and adoption professionals are committed to helping families through every step of the adoption process. Founded by Luke and Georgia Leonard, the family’s personal experience with adoption (they’ve adopted four children domestically and internationally) proved challenging and motivated them to form The Family Network, Inc. in 1979. Since then, several thousand children, both domestic and international, have been placed with loving families locally and throughout the U.S. Their services include adoption home studies, relinquishment of parental rights, Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC), post placement reports, agency court work, and coordination with placing agencies.

FosterHope Sacramento ( is a foster family agency serving the El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, and Yolo Counties since 1985. They recruit and certify dependable, loving foster parents for thousands of our region’s foster children. FosterHope facilitates four foster care programs: Respite, Whole family, Traditional, and Extended. Respite caregivers provide short-term care to relieve current foster families or see whether they’re ready to become full-time foster parents. Whole Family Foster Care supports teens and their babies with services. Traditional foster care involves becoming a foster parent or resource family for kids or teens waiting for a permanent home. Finally, the Extended program aims to help older foster youth learn job skills, graduate high school, and move onto college and careers. Through these segmented programs, FosterHope reaches vulnerable community members at every stage.
by Nelly Kislyanka
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