Abandoned Teen Finds His Family

Summer 2012
Abandoned Teen
Finds His Family
For 10 years, Tony and his two half-siblings were moved
from foster home to foster home. Efforts to reconnect with
his parents failed. Eventually, a biological father took one
sibling back, and the other ran away to family out-of-state.
Tony felt truly abandoned.
Tony was in danger of being sent to a group home, so the
Department of Social Services (DSS) referred him to the
Family Finding program at EMQ FamiliesFirst in hopes of
finding him a permanent home with a family.
The Family Finding team and DSS began an intensive search.
Soon, they were able to identify a great-aunt of Tony’s who
was part of a family cluster living just 30 minutes from him.
Aunt Maria knew exactly who Tony was when the Family Finding
team first contacted her. The family had been under the mistaken
impression that he had been adopted years before.
She helped identify other aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, nieces
and nephews, all of whom lived nearby. Phone calls with Tony started
the connection process. Once it was established that a relationship with
this branch of Tony’s family would be a safe, positive situation, a visit was
Upon arrival, the 15-year-old was enveloped by aunts, cousins and uncles. One
cousin said, “We wanted him to feel and know that he was a part of our family.”
“Tony’s connection with his family was instant,” said Adriana Gonzales,
Tony’s Family Finding specialist. “Everyone felt the love and warmth. It
was as if he had always known them.”
His Aunt Joana expressed a desire to give Tony a home—
his first permanent home in more than a decade.
continued on page 6
What’s going on in your region…
Foster Care &
Bay Area
Los Angeles
Donors offer
‘wings’ for a foster
child’s life
p. 3
Choose from two
golf tourneys to
help kids
p. 4
Yolo Crisis
Nursery gets
$20K grant
p. 5
Camps engage
and provide
mentors for kids
p. 6
New program will
help former foster
p. 6
Service reaches
kids in hardest
p. 7
From Darrell Evora, MFT, President & CEO
Children’s Services in Danger
On May 14, Governor Jerry Brown released his budget for fiscal year
2012-2013. It places California’s budget shortfall at $15.7 billion, nearly
$7 billion more than the $9.2 billion deficit forecasted in January 2012.
Due to this, the Governor is proposing significant cutbacks at all levels
of state responsibility and revenue generating solutions.
251 Llewellyn Ave.
Campbell, CA 95008
(408) 379-3790
Fund Development
Bay Area (408) 364-4044
Capital Region (530) 747-3122
Central Valley (559) 246-8223
Inland Empire (909) 266-2708
Los Angeles/Hollygrove (323) 769-7142
Last year, funding for community safety programs including law
enforcement, child protection, public health and probation services
was realigned from the state to the counties as a way to support local control
and encourage greater efficiency. Funding for mental health services is similarly
planned to be realigned this July.
Human Resources
Our major concern lies with ensuring appropriate access to EPSDT Medi-Cal
(Early and Periodic, Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment) services for children.
EPSDT is a federal mandate to increase access to mental health services and is
an entitlement for eligible children. This federal entitlement recognizes the
importance of providing mental health services for children who are at high risk of
serious emotional disabilities as the result of poverty and involvement in the child
welfare system.
Regional Offices:
Children need your help! As the state budget evolves over the coming weeks, we
will be reaching out to you with calls to action as appropriate. When alerted, we
hope you will contact your legislator(s) to help us protect valuable services that are
desperately needed by children, youth and families in crisis in your community.
Note, as the newsletter goes to press: we have just updated this article because the
budget situation is shifting almost daily. To keep getting the latest news and action
alerts, please take a minute to visit www.emqff.org and sign up to receive emails.
Thanks in advance!
Meet: Roger Barney, Board Member
Roger Barney knew he and his wife, Jeannette, had to do something.
After their daughter Kim had died of suicide by prescription drugs,
they were filled with grief…and anger. They wanted to turn that into
legal action against the doctors and clinic that had last prescribed
pills for Kim, whose chart specifically noted her prescription drug
But Roger and Jeannette had always chosen a different lifestyle, as he
says, “to do as much good in the community as we could, helping those
who were in greater need than us.” They decided to turn their family’s tragedy into
action that might help educate teens about drug abuse and addiction—including
prescription medications. So began the pursuit to find a way to help even one child
and family avoid similar pain.
Thanks to the Barneys, who worked initially with their local Saratoga High School
and then connected with EMQ FamiliesFirst, schools and families throughout Santa
continued on next page
2 EMQ FamiliesFirst . Summer 2012 . www.emqff.org
Job postings and applications at
Foster Care and Adoption Services
(877) 488-5437 (toll-free)
Bay Area
251 Llewellyn Ave.
Campbell, CA 95008
(408) 379-3790
2100 Fifth St.
Davis, CA 95618
(530) 753-0220
Central Valley
5168 N. Blythe Ave., Suite 101
Fresno, CA 93722
(559) 248-8550
Inland Empire
572 N. Arrowhead Ave., Suite 200
San Bernardino, CA 92401
(909) 266-2700
Los Angeles/Hollygrove
815 N. El Centro Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 463-2119
Communications Director
Kristine Austin (408) 364-4029
Newsletter Editor
Lee Ann Kolker (408) 364-4043
Graphic Designer
Gayle Marquez, Marquez+Hubka Design
For complete locations and services information,
go to www.emqff.org. To view our list of recent
donors, please go to www.emqff.org/help.
Possibilities is published three times a year for the
supporters of EMQ FamiliesFirst.
Confidentiality of EMQ FamiliesFirst children
and families has been preserved through the use
of models and by changing identifying details.
To update your mailing information, please call
or email Judi Umbreit at (408) 364-4048 or
[email protected]
Foster Care & Adoption
EMQ FamiliesFirst
Board of Directors
Chair of the Board
R. Donald McNeil, Esq.
Vice Chair/Chair-Elect
Peter W. Brown, CPA
John F. Hopkins, Esq.
Suanne Ramar
President & CEO
EMQ FamiliesFirst
Darrell Evora, MFT
Robert A. Archer
Jo Ariko
Roger A. Barney
Maribeth Benham
Donna Butcher
Neal Dempsey
Geoff Edelstein
Charles E. Erickson
Charles David Fite
Heather Jones
Scott Kolbrenner
William D. Kron
David Lerner
Lance Lew
Michael S. McAndrews
You Can Change a Foster
Kid’s Life
Many expenses that seem necessary
to our own families have to be left
as “extras” for foster kids and their
families. While the child welfare system
provides for basics, it simply cannot
resource foster families as much as is
often needed. That’s why our foster kids
depend on your generosity.
The Wings for Foster Youth program
of EMQ FamiliesFirst supplies children
and families with those “extras” that
focus on social well-being, mental health needs and educational support, such as
medical, dental, or vision expenses; hair cuts; after school activities; summer camp;
special outings; clothing; and graduation expenses.
In addition, there are two programs which make all the difference in whether a
foster teen is supported into adulthood and becomes successful in life:
•Family Finding, a program that connects foster youth to safe and caring
family members
•Emancipation Support Fund, which
provides scholarships to youth
transitioning out of foster care to assist
them with expenses related to academic
or vocational school training, housing,
transportation and basic living expenses
On behalf of the foster kids and
families we serve, here’s a big
“thank you” for the dedicated and
ongoing support from the
Sleep Train Foster Kids
program and the
Donations for the Wings for Foster Youth program
create a brighter future for a foster child or teen in your
community. Learn more at www.emqff.org/newsletter.
Richard W. Osen
Barry Z. Posner, Ph.D.
Donald B. Russell
Jason Silletti
Bradley G. Slocum
Geoffrey Thomas
Jana L. Turner
Kimila W. Ulrich
Denise Vonhof
Meet: Roger Barney
continued from page 2
Clara County now have access to addiction prevention education and counseling.
After Kim’s death, Roger also began serving on the agency’s board. Jeannette and
friend Lynne Seay initiated the VIP League (Volunteers Inspiring People) annual
luncheon which raised hundreds of thousands for EMQ FamiliesFirst’s addiction
prevention services.
When Jeannette’s long illness ended her life, Roger felt this terrible second loss
but remained determined to help others. He continued in partnership with EMQ
FamiliesFirst, supporting subsequent fundraising events, chairing the agency’s
board through two mergers and, currently, chairing the Bay Area Region’s board
of governors. Now remarried, he and wife, Dottie, are as strong as ever in their
support of prevention education and keeping kids out of crisis. ♥
EMQ FamiliesFirst . Summer 2012 . www.emqff.org 3
Bay Area Region
Great Silicon Valley Caper –
A Big Win for Kids
Bring Your ‘A Game’
To Help a Child
6th Annual Beshoff MotorCars
Mercedes-Benz Golf Tournament
The clues have been solved, the prizes won, and now, the proceeds of the Great
Silicon Valley Caper are making a positive impact in the lives of abused and
neglected children in Santa Clara County. Thanks to each and every sleuth who
attended and to the Los Gatos businesses that hosted clue sites.
Supporting Sponsors:
• El Camino Hospital
• Roger and Dottie Barney
• The Archer Family Foundation
Participating Sponsors:
• Heffernan Insurance Brokers
• Littler Mendelson Foundation, Inc.
• UBS Financial
• Melita Group
• Beacon Pointe Advisors
• Barbara and Mark Beck
• Alain Pinel Realtors
• The Alarm Company
Media Sponsors:
• San Jose Mercury News
• K-BAY/Mix 106.5
• 95120/Los Gatos Magazines
• Fox 2 TV36
• Neal and Jan Dempsey
• John and Valerie Hopkins
• Declaration Services, Inc.
• Gretchen Bell
• Mary Curtis
• Lark Ave. Classic Car Wash
• Maggetti Construction
• Robson Homes
• Travel Advisors of Los Gatos
• Colleen Wilcox
• Silicon Valley Community Newspapers
• Sound By Design
• KCAT 15
Host Ray Beshoff (second from right) and
his golf team at last year’s tournament.
Golf to help kids August 30 at the
Silver Creek Valley Country Club.
Ray and Liza Beshoff, who have been
longtime supporters and advocates for
children served by EMQ FamiliesFirst,
will host the tournament. Over the
years, the tournament has raised
over $100,000. Sign up today at
Photo by John Ho
5th Annual C.H. Reynolds Charity
Golf Tournament
Board member David Lerner (back row, center) and his team at Caper. Find more fun photos at
Think Fall—and School Supplies
Kids—especially those served by our programs—need lots of help in making
their school day successful. You can play a big part by helping each child go back
to school with the right tools. This summer, donate school supplies or consider
organizing a backpack drive among friends, family or a group. Examples of what’s
needed for elementary, middle and high school students include supplies like
backpacks, rulers, binders, notebooks, calculators, pencils and pens.
For a complete list, contact Darren at (408) 364-4058 or [email protected] A
child will thank you every day of the school year! ♥
4 EMQ FamiliesFirst . Summer 2012 . www.emqff.org
Host Chuck Reynolds at last
year’s tournament.
Join us on July 19 at Coyote Creek
Golf Club. Hosted by CEO Chuck
Reynolds, the tournament features
dinner, a live auction and raffle
prizes, all to help kids served by EMQ
FamiliesFirst. To sign up or become
a sponsor, contact Sandy Reynolds,
(408) 436-9280. ♥
Capital Region
Photo by Tia Gemmell
Super Sleuths Support Kids
Limousines rolled through
Sacramento this spring as nearly
200 super sleuths solved clues
at the 5th annual Capital City
Caper. Their support raised
nearly $85,000 for children in
the Capital Region.
“If you’re looking for a totally
different charity event, this is
it. I have seen many different
types of events, but this was
Board Member Don Russell and wife Linda (at left) with
their “Guys and Dolls” team. To see more event photos and a my first Caper. I would have to
complete list of sponsors and donors, visit www.emqff.org/ say, this is the most fun I’ve had
for a good cause!” said Gordon
Richardson, Capital Region executive director, EMQ FamiliesFirst.
Big thanks go to our supporting sponsor, U.S. Bank, as well as to these major sponsors:
Union Bank of California, Wells Fargo Bank, Donald & Linda Russell,
RETS Associates, VSP Vision Care, and Dr. Michael Uro. ♥
Your Gift
Gives Kids
A Super
The “little” things like field trips,
picnics, swimming lessons and
a week at camp help abused and
neglected kids regain a sense of
regular life and hope and add to
the healing process.
Summer is underway and you
can help provide a healthy,
positive summer program for a
child between the ages of 7-17.
To donate, visit www.emqff.org/
newsletter. ♥
Yocha Dehe Helps Kids Like Katie
Thanks to the Yocha Dehe Community Fund for a $20,000
grant for the Yolo Crisis Nursery. At the Nursery, children
and infants under age five can find a safe, caring place when
their families are facing crisis or hardship.
Katie was one such child, only two-years-old when her
mother, Louise, unexpectedly needed surgery. Katie has
Down Syndrome, and there was no family nearby. Among
the few close friends in their rural area, no one felt capable
of caring for this special needs child. Fortunately, Louise
learned about the Yolo Crisis Nursery and set up services
just in time for what turned out to be an emergency surgery.
“I trotted beside the gurney as it rolled to the operating
room, answering last minute questions from Louise and
getting her signature on legal documents so that we could
care for Katie,” said Heather Vazquez, family services
coordinator. “Louise was upset because Katie had no
diapers, toys or clothes with her and she is a picky eater.
I kept repeating that we could take care of everything and
she should just focus on having a successful surgery and
getting better.”
Heather had brought snacks and toys to keep Katie occupied
while they drove to the nursery so the initial separation
went smoothly. Katie had never been apart from her mom
and became bewildered and uneasy once at the nursery. But
Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation Tribal Council member James Kinter (left)
and chairman Marshall Mckay (right) with Marsha Lewis-Akyeem,
EMQ FamiliesFirst.
Heather had promised Louise, “If Katie needs to be held in
someone’s arms all night, that’s what we will do.”
It’s generous contributions by individuals and organizations
—like Yocha Dehe—that support staff with resources to do
whatever it takes to help a child feel calm and safe.
Katie stayed at the nursery four days, and while she needed
extra comforting at night, she also adapted and thrived with
the consistent nursery schedule and attention. “What could
have been a traumatizing experience,” Heather said, “we
hope will be a happy memory for Katie.” ♥
EMQ FamiliesFirst . Summer 2012 . www.emqff.org 5
Central Region
Abandoned Teen Finds His Family
continued from page 1
When School Is Out, Camp Is In
Camp Keeps Kids Active,
When kids are out of school, it’s
a great time to offer camps with
an environment of safe, engaging
activities. During spring break,
the Central Region held a threeday camp for all the kids in our
programs. Not only is camp a hit
with our children and teens, it lets
staff role model and interact with
the kids.
Each day included games, sports
and crafts at a different setting like
the park, Fresno State University or the final family day hosted at the Boys & Girls
Club. Special thanks go to Fresno Whole Foods Market for once again donating
snacks in their ongoing support of kids in our programs. ♥
“When I saw him,
I saw a boy who
needed to be loved.
I felt a connection
with him and wanted
to help,” she said.
Joana started the
process of being approved for relative
placement including weekend visits
and a longer 10-day stay during Tony’s
spring break from school.
Now DSS and a family court judge
have granted approval for Tony to
get his permanent family. Once final
arrangements are worked out, Tony
can go home.
Tony’s journey is your success, too,
because Family Finding is supported
by donors like you. Be a part
of a child’s journey home, visit
www.emqff.org/newsletter.org. ♥
Inland Empire Region
New Program for Former Foster and Probation Youth
Teens Get Life Skills and Support
It’s a big program name to remember—Interagency Youth
Resiliency Team (IYRT)—but the work it’s promising to do will be
even bigger. The IYRT is an innovative program starting in July to
mentor current and former foster youth and probation youth ages
13-21 years old.
IYRT will focus on helping these teens and young adults establish
life skills and a network of support in areas such as housing, physical
and emotional health, education, employment, and healthy, lasting
relationships. This is the first program besides Transitional Age
Youth (TAY) to serve older foster youth under the benefits of a
newly enacted law that extends support through age 21, and the
first offered for those who are not Medi-Cal eligible.
IYRT also gives essential support to foster parents with training on
attachment, grief and loss, trauma and how to advocate for their
child. There are benefits to professionals, too, since the training
offers well-established models on how to understand, best support
and advocate for youth in the TAY program. Staff training will cover environmental stressors,
that is, the results of multiple placements, complicated histories of trauma, and exposure to
domestic violence and gang activity. ♥
6 EMQ FamiliesFirst . Summer 2012 . www.emqff.org
Los Angeles Region
Kids Benefit from Full Service Partnership
Hollygrove Achieves Highest Ranking
Hollygrove achieved Los Angeles County’s highest success
rate for Full Service Partnerships (FSP). Our most intensive
program, it serves children up to age 15 and their families who
are struggling with extremely challenging circumstances.
Kids served through FSP might otherwise be hospitalized or
enter the child welfare system and a potentially downward
spiral. Instead we help keep them at home or with safe
relatives and provide multiple services for them to recover
from mental illness and function in healthy ways.
“I may not have a degree,” said one parent with a child in the
program, “but I am an expert on my child. People only see
him at his worst. I get to see him at his best. My feedback is
critical to his treatment.”
FSP actively seeks out children who lack or are not receiving
sufficient services. They may be at risk of expulsion from
school, have been or are at risk of being removed from
home, exhibit violent behaviors, abuse drugs or alcohol, or
have been in the juvenile justice system.
becomes uplifting. The mother is not only empowered but
linked to other volunteers and the larger community.
Hollygrove ranked as LA County’s leading provider of
FSP services for the 2010-2011 fiscal year with the highest
percentage of clients meeting their goals, which was
accomplished in the briefest period of time (nine months).
Kids served by FSP are from low income families which
tend to be isolated and alone. In the case of a family in need
of food assistance, our staff might take the mother to a local
food bank. Once there, the two also volunteer together and
help others. What began as a possibly degrading experience
FSP not only partners staff, kids and families but also needs
donors like you to provide some additional living expenses.
Find out more at www.hollygrove.org/newsletter. ♥
We’ve got photos, video and more for you so that you can
share in our star-studded anniversary event: Hooray for
Hollygrove, Celebrating 100 Years in Hollywood, Presented
by Juicy Couture.
Emceed by renowned actor and producer Rob Reiner, the
event hosted 300 friends and celebrities at the Hollywood
Museum in April. With well over $150,000 raised, we far
exceeded our goal through the generosity of sponsors,
guests and a live auction led by Christie’s. After dinner,
Tafari Gonzalez-Aird shared his story of transformation.
Then we premiered a video produced by Roger.tv depicting
young lives healed through Hollygrove programs.
Special thanks to title sponsor Juicy Couture, event co-chairs
Jana Turner and Kim Ulrich, event committee members, and
event producer Heather Hope-Allison. Additional major
sponsors include Stella Hall and James Fordyce, Houlihan
Lokey, JAKKS Pacific, Paramount Pictures, RETS Associates,
Back page photo, left to right: Kim Ulrich, Neil Patrick Harris,
Jana Turner and David Burtka. (Photo by Lisa Rose)
Photo by Lisa Rose
Over $150K Raised for Kids!
(from left) Neil Patrick Harris, David Burtka, with Darrell Evora (CEO,
EMQ FamiliesFirst), Busy Philipps, Rob Reiner and Mary McCormack on
the red carpet.
Jason and Shawn Silletti/Goldman Sachs, True Partners,
Kim and Fred Ulrich, and Western Asset Management.
Here’s how you can keep the celebration going: view event
photos, watch the video, or make a $100 donation in honor
of Hollygrove’s 100th. Go to www.hollygrove.org/newsletter
for links and details. ♥
EMQ FamiliesFirst . Summer 2012 . www.hollygrove.org 7
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- Success: abandoned boy goes home
- CEO letter: CA budget news
- Safe kids this summer: 5 regional programs/activities
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