Building bridges to foster children: L.A. County’s staying connected to juveniles on the street via Facebook, family ties and foot patrols and placing them when they’re ready.
"You stay in touch, so they know you’re really there for them," said social worker Val Cacatian, who deals with 12- and 13-year-olds who’ve run away from foster homes because they miss their siblings or their mothers.
"They still have the idea that things could be all right, if only they could get back home," she said. "By 16 or 17, they realize, ‘My mother loves her drugs more than she loves me.’
"Sometimes they’ll contact me on Facebook: ‘Hey Val, can you find me a placement?’ They get tired of couch-surfing, living in the streets."
This is amazing.
Photo: Katrise Stewart, 17, left, gets a high five from Erin Green, center, as Desiree Glover, right, looks on during a self-esteem building workshop sponsored by the Department of Children and Family Service’s Runaway Outreach Unit. Credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times