SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The recession has had an impact on all walks of life including California’s foster care system.

Jill Jacobs is the Executive Director of Family Builders, a San Francisco-based placing agency.

“We have a number of different programs and services but our mission is specifically to make sure that kids have permanent families, particularly before they exit the system. We work with children and youth of all ages and we recruit and prepare both foster parents and adoptive parents,” she said. “And we work with permanency families, families that are willing to step up and be a parent and be the family for an older youth.”

KCBS Interviews Jill Jacobs of Family Builders:

Jacobs said the state of the foster care system in California has been in flux for a few years but many foster children remain resilient despite having difficulty finding a permanent home.

“The current state of foster care in California is not good. The economy has certainly taken its toll on the system,” she said. “But kids in foster care are resilient and amazing. When we get them into stable environments, our youth are pretty resilient and they come through.”

And Family Buildings doesn’t only work with only traditional families.

“California has really progressive legislation and regulations regarding foster care and adoption. So there are no barriers to single parent adoption, which can be a big issue in other parts of the country,” said Jacobs. “So single men and women can adopt, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender families can adopt, both single and couples. Everybody can be considered and go through the process.”

Jacobs said they are seeing a spike in teenagers in need of foster parents, many of whom are first-time entries. She said that is concerning because usually, kids have come in at a young age and stayed in foster programs for awhile. But more and more often, adolescents are struggling with many of life’s challenges.

Jacobs said both foster parents and foster children are just as normal as everyone else and should not have a stigma attached to them.

You can hear KCBS In Depth, a weekly half-hour news interview, Saturdays at 5:30a.m. and Sundays at 8:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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