Need for Foster Care Increases in Santa Clara County

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The number of children in foster care is increasing in the South Bay, while the number of foster homes is dwindling. Damian Trujillo introduces us to one woman who knows how important the foster care program can be. (Published Wednesday, Aug 7, 2013)

    The South Bay is in crisis, according to the Santa Clara County Social Services Agency.

    The number of children in foster care is increasing, while the number of foster homes is dwindling.

    There are more disturbing numbers.

    The agency said less than 10 percent of foster homes will welcome an adolescent. And out of those children who are not adopted from foster care:

    • 75 percent will perform below grade level
    • 46 percent do not complete high school
    • 51 percent are unemployed

    “We are in a crisis, and we're calling this a call to action,” said Gilbert Murillo, whose job with the Santa Clara County Social Services Agency is to find children-in-crisis a home.

    “We are in need of the community, homes that can take elder kids. We need homes to take sibling groups," Murillo said.

    Jazzmin Barbosa from Gilroy once had the cards stacked against her. She was placed into her first foster home at age 13.

    “It was really devastating moment,” Jazzmin said. “ I had a lot of emotions going through me. It was a bunch of confusion."

    Jazzmin bounced around from home to home, looking for a family who could love her and raise her as a teenager.

    “It was very odd. To me, I was just in a stranger's home. Not even a friend's home. It was so difficult,” Jazzmin said.

    The 21-year-old eventually found the right home.

    It was with a nurturing family who helped get her to college and onto nursing school.

    And Jazzmin is also unofficially her nephew’s foster mom, with adoption on the horizon.

    “I didn’t want to see him struggle the way I did, “ Jazzmin said. “Go through different homes or anything like that. I didn’t want him to have the heartache that I went through. I wanted him to know somebody loved him and was going to be there for him all the time.”

    If you are interested in sharing your home with a child in need, call 408-299-5437. For more information, visit the Santa Clara County website.