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You won’t want to miss the Olivia and R Family 2nd annual LGBT Family & Friends vacation. This time Club Med’s Ixtapa Mexico Resort, rated the #1 family resort in Mexico by Trip Advisor, will be the destination! Everyone is invited: lesbian moms, gay dads, kids, grandparents, singles, couples, straight friends & family, and the entire LGBT community at this ALL-INCLUSIVE family resort. Kids are not required, but very welcome! All-inclusive means your accommodations, food, beverages (including alcohol), games, most activities, and special Olivia & R Family programming and entertainment are included in the price. You’re in for a special treat with the Kids’ Club, which provides all-day activities for children of all ages (we hear the kids have so much fun they can’t wait for the next day’s activities to begin). The wide-open beach is perfect for sunbathing while watching the kids boogie board, and you won’t go hungry with an all-you-can-eat buffet featuring Mexican specialties like handmade tacos and fresh tropical fruit. Best of all, the energy from the G.O.’s, Club Med’s enthusiastic staff, combined with the Olivia & R Family team creates a unique atmosphere and a very special vacation experience you won’t soon forget.

​Spend 8 days and 7 nights at the ALL-INCLUSIVE Club Med Ixtapa resort. Located on an untouched region of Mexico, sitting between the waves of the Pacific Ocean and the peaks of the Sierra Madre Mountains, the resort offers breathtaking ocean views and stunning sunsets. Enjoy cuisine from three delicious restaurants, relax at any of the three bars, swim in the ocean or in the centralized pool, plus pamper yourself at the spa. Club Med also offers a childcare program for children ages 4 months to 3 years (with an extra charge) and a customized program for children ages 4-17 will be available so they’ll always be entertained throughout the day with activities.

RaiseAChild families receive a $100 discount (per booking) with discount code RAC17. Additionally, a $100 donation will be made to RaiseAChild.

Book Now

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Foster Parent Self-Assessment Quiz

Whether you are an older adult or a younger adult, single, or married, a working or a stay-at-home-parent, a home owner or renter, adoption or foster care may be a good option for you. The questionnaire below will help you determine if foster or adopting is the best choice for you now. If you answer Yes to the statements below, you are ready to begin the process of becoming a foster/adoptive parent.

I am 21 years old or older
Foster/adoptive parents must be 21 years old or older; single or legally married and must have a valid driver’s license (you may be divorced or widowed).

Am I in good health?
Being a parent can be demanding. You must be healthy and emotionally stable to care for foster/adoptive children. All those living in your home must have a health statement completed by a physician showing that you are free of communicable diseases.

My home is safe
During the home study, a safety inspection of your home will be conducted. You must have working smoke detectors and a fire extinguisher.

I am open to working with children who have moderate behaviors
Many children have experienced trauma and loss and can react by running away, stealing, lying, or with physical and verbal aggression.

I am open to working with biological families
Typically, foster-to-adopt children have visits with their biological siblings, biological parents, and relatives. Sometimes foster parents may need to supervise visits.

I have not had a case of child abuse or neglect
All potential foster/adoptive parents are required to submit to background checks prior to certification including other states where an applicant has resided.

I have adequate income
You do not have to be wealthy to become a foster/adoptive parent. However, you must have enough income to meet your own family’s needs and be able to demonstrate that you can financially support an additional child for up to 6 weeks without financial reimbursement. During the certification process you will be asked to provide proof of income and to review family expenses.

I am able to attend training
Foster/adoptive parents must complete training and all required paper work. Parents must commit to continuing training and workshops. Additional training is important to making the relationship a success.

No adult in my home has been convicted of a crime
If you or any adult living in your home has been convicted of certain criminal offenses, you cannot become a foster/adoptive parent. Each adult member in your household over age 18 will be fingerprinted.

I am ready to begin a home study now
You are ready to begin the home study if your life and home are stable. “Stable” means that you are not about to move and are not having financial, marital or emotional difficulties or making any major life changes in the near future.

Who can I talk to about the next steps?
You can contact us at 323-417-1440 or email us to find out about becoming a foster parent.

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Friends,

Many have been blessed with loving parents in their lives. Some have been luckier than others and have had more time to share, learn and grow under their parents’ wings. Others, like me, lost our parents earlier than we had hoped, but still were given the gift of feeling unconditionally loved and cherished by our parents as children. I had shoulders to cry on, teachers to explain school (and life) to me and cheerleaders to pick me up when I fell. Losing my mom when I was just 15 years old was not easy, but I feel lucky to have shared more than 700 Sundays of family time and at least 500 Saturdays of soccer with her. Losing my dad when I was just 27 years old was also not easy, but I feel lucky to have shared more than 600 Wednesday night tutoring sessions and at least 500 Friday evening walks with our dog, Shasta.

Sadly, there are so many children in Los Angeles who do not know what the aforementioned feels like. It is for them that I have decided to serve on the Board of Directors of RaiseAChild, a foster care and adoption organization that helps young people find loving parents, as Co-Chair.

I also have decided to run the LA Marathon on March 19th in honor of my parents and the extraordinary people – extended family and close friends – who have watched over me since I lost my parents and meaningfully contributed to the person I have become. I have committed to raising $5,000 for Raise A Child by race day so that other young people in LA can have people to thank when they find a place to call home.

I hope you will contribute on the RaiseAChild website today. Please put my name in the tribute box so I can share my appreciation.

Thank you so much for your love and support – today and always,
Julie Munjack
RaiseAChild Board of Directors, Co-Chair

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Now in its’ fifth year, HONORS is our largest fundraising event of the year. Held at the quaint and historic Jim Henson Company Lot on Saturday, June 10th, our gala has been called the most inspiring event of the season and features celebrity guests, food, mixology, entertainment and exciting auctions.

Several sponsorship options are still available, download the RAC HONORS 2017 Sponsorship Packet for more information.

Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available!

 

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Por primera vez, el pasado 21 de junio, el Departamento de Niños y Familias del Condado de Los Angeles (DCFS) tuvo su junta de orientación para familias de habla Hispana que están buscando ser padres adoptivos y de crianza, en la oficina de RaiseAChild.  “¡Este evento en colaboración con la comunidad Latina fue todo un éxito! definitivamente está en nuestros planes invitar al condado y a las otras agencias con quienes nos asociamos, a que tengan sus orientaciones en español aquí en nuestra oficina,” dice Deyanira Contreras, Apoyo para Padres, Bilingüe.

Contamos con bastante estacionamiento gratuito y acceso fácil a las líneas Roja y Morada del Metro, por lo tanto, la ubicación de la oficina de RaiseAChild tiene sus ventajas. Pero hay razones mas significativas para la colaboración.  “Disfruto trabajar directamente con nuestras familias; asistirlos en el proceso de crianza y adopción,” explica Ivonne Crescioni, del Departamento de Niños y Familias. “RaiseAChild provee un apoyo adicional para ellos, de guía y amistad.”

Si estas interesado en saber cómo convertirte en padre adoptivo o de crianza, llama al (323) 417-1440 o visita www.ShareYourHeartLA.org

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Please note: The adoption tax credit is a one-time credit per child. If you have received your adoption tax credit for an adoption, you do not apply for an additional adoption tax credit in future years.

Since 2003, families who adopted a child with special needs from foster care could claim a federal adoption tax credit even if they had no adoption expenses. Children who receive adoption assistance/subsidy benefits are considered children with special needs. Other adoptive families are also eligible for the credit, but must have (and be able to document, if requested by the IRS) qualified adoption expenses.

The tax credit was refundable for 2010 and 2011, but not for 2012 or future years. A refundable tax credit is one you get back regardless of what you owe or paid in taxes for the year. When the credit is not refundable, you receive only what you have in federal income tax liability.

As of October 16, 2015, those who adopted in 2011 or earlier will not benefit.

The amount of the credit is based on the year the adoption finalized:

2017 $13,570
2016 $13,460
2015 $13,400
2014 $13,190
2013 $12,970
2012 $12,650


The credit is claimed one time for each adopted child with special needs. Below, we explain the basics of the adoption tax credit.

To be eligible for the credit, you must:

  • Have adopted a child other than a stepchild — Children who receive a monthly adoption subsidy payment have been determined by the state to have special needs, so these children are eligible for the full tax credit without documenting expenses. Families who adopted children without special needs are also eligible, but need to have (and be able to document, if asked) qualified adoption expenses.
  • And be within the income limits — How much of the credit you can claim is based on income. For 2015, families with a federal modified adjusted gross income above $241,010 cannot claim the credit; families with incomes above $201,010 can claim part credit. Anyone with incomes below the lower amount should be able to claim the full credit. (Adoptions from previous years had different income limits; 2016 income limits will be $241,920 and $201,920.)

If You Adopted in 2016

You will claim the credit when you file your 2016 taxes next year. Read our fact sheet for more information.

If You Adopted in 2015

You need to amend your 2015 taxes. Read our fact sheet for more information.

If You Adopted in 2014

You need to amend your 2014 taxes. Read our fact sheet for more information.

If You Adopted in 2013

You need to amend your 2013 taxes. Read our fact sheet for more information.

If You Adopted in 2012

Even though federal tax year 2012 is closed, you will need to amend your 2012 taxes in order to claim the adoption tax credit and determine what amount would carry forward to 2013. Any benefit you would have received with 2012 taxes you will lose. Read our fact sheet for more information.

If You Adopted in 2011 or earlier

The tax year 2011 is closed for everyone, even those who filed an extension on their 2011 taxes. So any adoptions that finalized in 2011 or earlier are no longer able to file for a refund


Below are links to a number of resources for adoptive families.

NACAC’s resources focus on adoptions of children with special needs from foster care, but may also be of use to other adoptive families.

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A letter from Southern California Grantmakers:

With racial, ethnic, religious, and political divisiveness rising across America, organizations across the country, prompted by an effort by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, are calling for a National Day of Healing on Tuesday, January 17. The goal is to spur efforts to heal the wounds created by racial and other biases and to build an equitable and just society in which all people thrive.

Building off of recent conversations at our Annual Conference and other programs, Southern California Grantmakers is proud to announce support for this effort and invite people to participate in whatever ways you choose—both on the day itself and in the days and months to follow.

10 Things You Can Do to Help Heal Southern California

  1. On January 17, join Community Coalition for an open forum with colleagues from a diverse group of organizations focused on racial healing. This conversation will take place 10:00 am to 11:30 am at 8101 S. Vermont Avenue.
  2. Get to know someone of a different racial, ethnic, or religious background. Ask them to share something about their history and culture and share something about yours.
  3. Start a thought provoking conversation or share inspiring resources through your social media posts with questions like “What does racial healing look like to you?” or “How can racial healing help our country become more vibrant?”. Post a short video addressing why racial healing is important to you. Use the hashtags #TRHT (Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation), #TheDayToHeal, and #DayOfRacialHealing.
  4. Recognize your own biases – we all have them! Try taking the Harvard Implicit Bias Test. Once you know your biases, you’ll be better equipped to resist stereotyping and look for the good in each person.
  5. Visit a local museum to explore the diversity around us. Check out the Annenberg Space for Photography’s IDENTITY exhibit (through 2/26) and lectures and exhibits at the Museum of Tolerance, Chinese American Museum, Japanese American National Museum, California African American Museum, La Plaza de Cultura y Artes; and the Dream Resource Center, among others.
  6. Watch a film about the impacts of racism and discrimination in our country and our modern world. Consider Hidden Figures, Defamation, Loving, 13th, Dreamer, A Better Life, He Named Me Malala, Breathin: The Eddy Zheng Story, Grab, Moonlight, The Case Against 8, and evenZootopia (to spark discussion with children). We also recommend reading Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson, Enrique’s Journey by Sonia Nazario, Trustbuilding by Rob Corcoran.
  7. Explore how race and racism have shaped Southern California specifically. Consider reading Fire This Time: The Watts Uprising and the 1960s by Gerald Horne, The Changs Next Door to the Díazes: Remapping Race in Suburban California by Wendy Cheng, Mendez v. Westminster: School Desegregation and Mexican-American Rights by Philippa Strum, Southland by Nina Revoyr, and Twilight: Los Angeles ,1992 by Anna Deavere Smith. You can also attend a performance of the upcoming production of Zoot Suit at the Mark Taper Forum to experience the cultural and political context of Chicano life in 1940s.
  8. Be a tourist in your own community: visit some lesser known sites of local civil rights history with the alternative guidebook, A People’s Guide to Los Angeles by Laura Barraclough. You can also visit the Harada House in Riverside County.
  9. Think about the diversity within your neighborhood, workplace, local school, house of worship, etc., and initiate conversations about where and why there might be a lack of inclusion.
  10. Imagine what a healed Southern California community would look like and commit personally to work for racial healing and equity; volunteer with or support organizations that focus on healing and equity.

Our region is fortunate to have many groups committed to justice and reconciliation. Next Tuesday’s National Day of Healing, which follows the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and precedes the presidential inauguration, is an opportunity to broaden and deepen our personal and joint commitments, and begin our own journeys toward healing the wounds that divide us. You are encouraged to reach out to Southern California Grantmakers and share other resources and opportunities for community healing. SCG is committed to this endeavor and will continue to weave this critical issue into our ongoing programming and initiatives.

If there is one thing that I have learned from the tremendous power, wisdom, and caring of the SCG family, it’s the truth of these words from Maya Angelou: “When you do nothing you feel overwhelmed and powerless. But when you get involved you feel the sense of hope and accomplishment that comes from knowing you are working to make things better.”

Thank you for taking the time to consider how you—together with your fellow SCG members and so many others nationwide—can help bring healing to our communities.

Sincerely,

Christine Essel
President and CEO
Southern California Grantmakers

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Over our five-year history, RaiseAChild has grown from three foster and adoption agency partners in Southern California to twelve partners today. The Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), and specifically the Adoption and Permanency Resources Division, was one of our founding partners in the recruitment of prospective parents for the 30,000 children in the L.A. County foster care system.

Starting January 2017, State Assembly Bill 403 will bring major changes to California’s child welfare system. In essence the new legislature aims to move foster children out of group homes, creating an even greater demand for foster and adoptive parents, in turn, making our partnership with DCFS more important than ever.

Introduced by Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Monterey Bay), AB 403 phases out the way treatment and services are currently provided at group homes in favor of measures geared toward providing greater support to foster families. The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) will be charged with establishing and administering new accreditation standards and payment rates for group homes and foster family agencies.

Continue reading New Year, New Law

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Independent Line Producer

Kama Kaina first was introduced to RaiseAChild by his social worker as he and his husband were going through the process of adopting their son. The support and knowledge they received was immeasurable and is ultimately why he accepted the invitation to serve on the RaiseAChild Board of Directors.

Kama is originally from Hawaii but moved to Florida when he was young. He attended Florida State University and moved to Los Angeles shortly after graduation. Kama has worked in the television industry for almost 10 years as a Line Producer. Some of his most recent projects include “Unlocking the Truth” for MTV; where three cases of possible wrongful convictions were documented and “24 Hours of Reality” for the Climate Reality Project; a 24 hour live broadcast on the effects of climate change with host Al Gore.

Kama also volunteers with KidSave, an organization that helps find mentors, hosts and foster/adoptive families for children age 9 to 17. He also enjoys watching sci-fi movies and cooking dinner for his family, which includes his husband and young son. They also have two dogs named Dexter and Leeroy.

*Correction, Kama and his husband are the proud parents of one son, not two as previously stated.

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Whether your holiday shopping is almost done, or you haven’t even started yet, if you plan to shop at Amazon, consider shopping with AmazonSmile. AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support RaiseAChild every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to us. For more info, check out the FAQs below:

Continue reading This Holiday Season, Shop with Amazon Smile

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We can’t do this without you. Support RaiseAChild today and help us help over 425,000 foster children in the US.
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