LA County launches faith-based pilot program to reduce disparities in the child welfare system

More than a decade of research has documented the overrepresentation of certain racial and ethnic populations, including African-Americans, in the child welfare system when compared to the general population. This disparity is particularly acute in Pomona. In order to address these disparities, today the Board of Supervisors approved a motion authored by Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, and co-authored by Supervisor Kathryn Barger, to create a partnership with Pomona faith-based organizations to provide child welfare services to families and encourage more people to foster children.

“For several years, the County Department of Children and Family Services, with support from private partners, has worked to address racial disparity in foster care,” said Supervisor Solis. “This disparity is particularly acute for African-American children in Pomona. It is my hope that by supporting parents with additional resources through our partners in the faith community, we can safely reduce the number of children in foster care while simultaneously expanding the pool of potential foster families.”

“Through our joint initiatives, the County will improve our engagement with the faith-based communities to provide effective programs and services that will surely have a significant impact on our most vulnerable children and families,” said Supervisor Barger.

Today’s action directs the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to create a partnership with faith-based organizations in Pomona to provide culturally-sensitive services to families including visitation support, respite care, parenting classes, substance abuse counseling, and other supportive services. DCFS will report back to the Board of Supervisors every six months during the one-year pilot, and make recommendations for the continuation and expansion of the program.

“Thank you Supervisor Solis for leading this motion and to the Board of Supervisors for their support of the ACE program,” said Rev. Matthew R. Harris, D.Min., ACE Taskforce Coordinator. “It is our hope that through this project we will be able to: 1) reduce race disparity in our child welfare system; 2) reduce out-of-home placement; 3) increase the likelihood of family reunification, and 4) increase the ‘continuum of care’ through engagement with the faith-based community. Through our united efforts, we hope to offer a best practice model that provides a continuum of care throughout Los Angeles County and our Nation.”

Following this motion, this Saturday, September 29th, First Christian Church (1751 N. Park Avenue in Pomona) will be hosting a ‘Fostering Home’ foster parent recruitment event from 10am to 4pm. Representatives from the County Department of Children and Family Services and foster family agencies will provide orientations in English and Spanish on the foster parent application process. Potential foster families will be able to meet committed foster parents and social workers. Child care will be available for children ages 4 and over.

“Foster and adoptive parents have a unique opportunity to positively change the lives of children in need,” continued Supervisor Solis. “In collaboration with our community and faith-based partners in Pomona, I am committed to making the approval process easier and more supportive. Fostering Home is a unique opportunity to address the shortage of foster parents in LA County, while ensuring that our children can safely stay in a loving home, in their neighborhoods, and near their schools.


Michael Kapp, Communications Director, (213) 974-4111 or