By Kay Wilson-Bolton
May 21, 2003
Those who are closest to a “move” are often not the ones most affected by it. It is the unwilling participants who feel its greatest impact.
For the record, REALTORS® love to find homes for people–rich people, not-so-rich people, singles, families, with pets and without. There is a thrill that comes from opening an escrow and from closing one.
A little different spin on REALTORS® helping people find a home comes in our desire to promote the idea of foster parents and respite partners.
Supervisors Kathy Long and Steve Bennett have launched a campaign in their regions along with our family court judges to find people who will share their homes with kids who have been taken from theirs.
This move supports the fundamental value of a home, capped by the added value of home ownership that gives safe harbor to a child taken from what they know as home.
Two years ago, there were 300 foster care homes in the County for children from 0 to 18 years of age. That number is now at 175 and at crisis proportions. For most of us, we can’t picture the environment from which a child is taken from their parents, their beds their friends and schools. The best of a bad situation is made when a child can at least stay in their own city with their friends and familiar faces.
A new dimension of the foster care program is the opportunity to be a respite volunteer for the foster parent to provide relief from the full-time care.
An interesting element of foster care is that the court awards the child to the care of authorized individuals. That does not include baby sitters, neighbors or trusted relatives. So, those who come into the care of a foster child must also be qualified by training and instruction.
Isn’t it interesting that parenting requires no instruction but the parent, one-step removed, does; and so does the person who is willing to stand in thegap for the one who does the full time work.
If you have a heart for a child in need of a home in the most troubling time of a child’s life, please consider attending the beginning training session for volunteers on June 3 at 5 pm in Ventura.
Supervisor Bennett and his wife, both teachers by original training, have a continuing passion for the child.
As a REALTOR® with a heart for home, I encourage anyone to consider this great humanitarian effort on behalf of the children of the Ojai Valley. For more information, call Supervisor Bennett at 654.2703.
There is a need for English speaking and bi-lingual homes at all economic levels. It’s not an easy job. Neither is parenting. If it was, everyone would do it. It’s no surprise that REALTORS® would support someone who does.
Kay Wilson-Bolton is the owner of CENTURY 21 Ojai Valley and brings a regional perspective to local issues. You can call her at 340.5025.