Have you heard the term “Resource Family” being used in place of “Foster Family” lately? Image result for resource family application images

Well, you are going to be hearing this term a lot more, as California embarks on an overhaul of the current foster care system beginning this January. The ‘Resource Family Approval (RFA)’ Program is a new family friendly and child-centered caregiver approval process that combines elements of the current foster parent licensing, relative approval and approvals for adoption and guardianship and replaces those processes.

RFA:

  • Is streamlined- It eliminates the duplication of existing processes.
  • Unifies approval standards for all caregivers regardless of the child’s case plan.
  • Includes a comprehensive psychosocial assessment, home environment check, and training for all families, including relatives.
  • Prepares families to better meet the needs of vulnerable children in the foster care system.
  • Allows seamless transition to permanency.

We want you to know that Mountain Circle is prepared and excited for these changes! Our Resource Homes can look forward to more support and training, and a more streamlined process (for example, only having to fill out one application, one background check, and a combined home environment and permanency assessment). The new coordinated process will eliminate duplication, reduce paperwork, and maximize the efficient use of staff and system resources. As we know more, we will pass that information along to you. In the meantime, if you have questions or concerns about what the RFA means for your own Resource Family, please don’t hesitate to contact us! We are excited to be RFA approved in January, 2107.

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News from the Running with the Bears Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K Race (Mountain Circle’s annual fundraiser)

Prices for all races go up October 31st! Register NOW.

Don’t miss out, this event will sell out soon.

Would you like to get more involved? Join our team of beloved Charity Runners!  Every single day, Mountain Circle’s experienced Social Workers serve nearly 100 foster care children, youth, and their caregivers. Here is how you can make an impact: $50 means that a foster child can attend afterschool sports or dance lessons, $150 buys emergency clothing for a child who comes in with nothing, and $600 provides an older youth with an outdoor leadership adventure weekend. Check out this short video!  In 2016, RWTB Charity Runners raised $50,000 for Mountain Circle- can we beat that in 2017??

2016 Charity Runner, Angela

Running with the Bears Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K Charity Runner

Make a difference to a foster child this year! Join our team of 2017 Running with the Bears Charity Runners.

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From our RenFoster child in Renoo, Nevada Foster Care Office:

Meet Carlos!

Coming of age can mean a lot of things and Mountain Circle is proud to support our teens as they become young adults.  For 18 year-old Carlos, growing up means the end of high school, and the beginning of something new. Turning 18 in September was just the first major step and Carlos, who is extremely shy, is learning just what it means to be in the “real world.” Joshua, his Mountain Circle Worker, has expressed his excitement for Carlos, stating how Carlos has even asked about how to get a job, and how the bus system works. Carlos has begun to explore the city with his foster dad and is feeling more confident in navigating it by himself. Joshua, has taken him to grab job applications and has even done a few mock interviews with him.

As many of us know, being a teenager can either be terrifying or exciting and Carlos is really coming out of his shell!  From all of us at Mountain Circle, we could not be more thrilled to watch him continue to grow and blossom into a motivated young man. All of these big changes are happening so fast and yet he is still doing amazing well in school. Carlos has been with Mountain Circle since 2013 and he knows he has a big family here to back him up during his next steps!

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Watch the heat for small children in a car

From our Susanville Mountain Circle Foster Care and Adoption Office:

How hot is the inside of your car, really? 

Have you noticed that some parents leave their children and/or pets in their vehicles?  Sometimes with the windows up and sometimes with the windows a little cracked? As we know, it has already been a ridiculously hot summer with temperatures reaching above 100 degrees!

The danger zone: 

 “When temperatures outside range from 80 degrees to 100 degrees, the temperature inside a car parked in direct sunlight can quickly climb to between 130 to 172.” – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Have you ever wondered what this means to the children or pets that are in cars when temperatures are this high? It causes heatstroke- defined as when a person’s temperature exceeds 104 degrees F, and their thermoregulatory mechanism is overwhelmed, The symptoms from heat stroke are not pleasant at all either. It causes dizziness, disorientation, agitation, confusion, sluggishness, seizures, hot dry skin that is flushed but not sweaty, loss of consciousness, rapid heartbeat, and hallucinations.

Not only does this cause heatstroke, but when a core body temperature of 107 degrees F or greater is reached, cells become damaged and internal organs begin to shut down.

We decided to do a little experiment on how hot our cars REALLY get during the summer- and what better way than with something we all love, PIZZA! We put a frozen pizza in a car to see if it would heat up. And the answer is, yes! Within an hour, the pizza was fully cooked. in fact, the car reached a degree so high that it was the temperature of a cooked ham- 106 degrees!

Sadly enough, children and pets do die from being left in a vehicle. Children that have died from vehicular heatstroke in the United States (1998-2016) have ranged in age from 5 days to 14 years.  More than half of the deaths are children under 2-years of age.

“Children have died in cars with the temperature as low as 63 degrees.  Basically, the car becomes a greenhouse.  At 70 degrees on a sunny day, after a half hour, the temperature inside a car is 104 degrees. After an hour, it can reach 113 degrees.” – Jan Null, adjunct professor at San Francisco State University.

In these last few days of summer, we cannot stress enough how important it is to not leave your children or pets in the car. Never, ever, leave a child or pet unattended in a vehicle, not even for a minute. If it’s too hot for you, then it’s too hot for them.

pizza

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Mountain Circle Foster Family
 
NOTICE: Mountain Circle is in great need of Resource Homes in Northern CA, and Northern NV.  Every single day, we are referred children that we do not have homes for. If you, or someone you know, could provide a temporary or permanent home for a child or teen in your community, please contact us today! Our staff are happy to provide a free, in-home orientation for you, or your friends.  Check out this short video about our families~

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Dr. Shauna RossingtonExecutive Director’s Corner: Dr. Shauna Rossington
Did you know that Foster Care Agencies in California will need to become nationally accredited by 2017?   Why? In 2015, the State of California passed legislation, AB403, which required foster, adoption, and residential treatment facilities to seek National Accreditation to continue operating as a licensed and approved facility for these types of services.
Achieving accreditation requires that a service provider commit to quality improvement, focus on the unique needs of each person the provider serves, and monitor the results of services. Mountain Circle chose to seek accreditation with the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).  CARF ensures Mountain Circle provides and delivers a high standard of services to our clients, allowing our Mission, Vision, and Values Statement to be upheld and accomplished in the highest of standards.  Additionally, CARF requires an analysis of Mountain Circle’s performance indicators, which allows Mountain Circle, through a quantitative method, to unbiasedly assess our services.  This is provided through our Data Management ETO (Efforts to Outcome) system.  Reviewing our effort to outcomes will facilitate organizational decision making to continuously provide quality services to our clients and stakeholders, and review and update our annual strategic goals.  The programs, which will receive accreditation, will be the FFA, Adoptions, ITFC, and our Treatment Level Foster Care program in Reno, Nevada.  These programs will be re-accredited every three years and Mountain Circle will need to show evidence of implementing and enforcing higher standards during these timeframes. We welcome their first inspection from October  26thth-28th of this year, and we expect to be fully accredited by January of 2017.
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