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Foster families desperately needed in Ventura County

Foster families desperately needed in...

VENTURA, Calif. - New California legislation is making the need for foster parents bigger than ever before.  Local foster programs are hoping more families will step up to be foster parents in this time of need.

Effective January 1st, new California legislation known as AB 403 is requiring all group homes for foster children and youth to obtain national accreditation and provide more specialized services to their residents, or shut their doors.  As a result, the need for supportive and well-trained foster families is more crucial than ever.

“We currently have 1,200 children in the foster care system at the moment and we need 200 homes that can bring in a child and love them,” said Jaci Johnson with Foster VC Kids.

Shaun and Amanda Maxson became foster parents just over three years ago.  The young married couple says their faith led them to open their hearts and home to foster children in the Ventura County community.

"We had this heart for foster and we felt very called to do that by our faith so we started that journey when we moved here to Ventura,” said Amanda Maxson.

Amanda's special training as a nurse gave them the confidence to foster children with special needs.  Their first placement was an 11-month old boy with a heart defect.  The pair successfully adopted the little boy, and were there for him as he underwent three open heart surgeries.

 

That boy is now a healthy and a talkative four year old.  Since then the Maxson's welcomed their own biological daughter, Avery, and have opened their home to several additional foster children over the past couple years.

“In the past three years, we have had six children in our home.  Some for as little as two weeks and some for as long as adoption.  We have gotten to see them change in our homes and that is such a gift being able to love them and see what that does for them,” said Amanda Maxson.

The Maxson's say the journey hasn't always been easy, but that it's been more than worth it.

"I think about how some of these kids have never seen a successfully marriage, a mom and dad a home and consistency and they deserve that and that it is nothing they ever did that put them in this situation so i have to think outside of what it is going to do for me and what it is going to do for them,” said Amanda Maxson.

"You just need a loving heart, you need a home that can provide some consistency for the children and letting the child feel like they belong. What we believe is that every child deserves a home and a family and that there is a family and a home for every child,” said Johnson.

“If you feel like it is something that you could do, my advice would be don't hesitate because there are so many kids that need love and although it is hard, it is worth it.,” said Shaun Maxson.

If you are interested in learning more about Foster VC Kids there is a special town hall meeting taking place Saturday February 25th at the Ventura County Health Care Agency, 2240 E. Gonzales Rd., Oxnard from 10 in the morning until noon.  To RSVP email info@fostervckids.org.  For more information go to FosterVCKids.org, or call 805-654-3220.


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