L.A.’s New Mayor Knows Foster Care

Garcetti Solo

By Lynsey Clark

L.A.’s newly elected Mayor, Eric Garcetti, believes the California foster care system should be improved to tangibly impact foster children’s lives.

“I still see the foster care system as incomplete, with too little coordination, not enough resources, and faced with policies and rules that often do not serve the foster youth’s best interests,” stated Garcetti, responding to a survey conducted by L.A. Child Advocacy Partners.

Garcetti has first hand knowledge of the limitations faced by foster care kids; he and his wife Amy Elaine Wakeland have fostered seven children in their home.

Though Garcetti has chosen to be private about his children and his experience as a foster parent, he does have strong beliefs about the foster care system.

“I see too little in the way of resources and attention for emancipated foster youth–such as housing options, wrap-around services (especially counseling), and job training opportunities especially focused on their needs and their talents,” Garcetti wrote.

According to L.A. Child Advocacy Partners there were 18,622 foster children in Los Angeles County in 2011. Of those, an estimated 2,000 foster children turn 18 and leave foster care each year.

Garcetti pledged in the survey that as Mayor, he will work to improve coordination between local levels of government and city agencies in order to better serve the youth.

Additionally, he intends “to focus on homeless foster youth, especially homeless LGBT and former foster youth, providing a space to develop policy and housing services for these populations,” he wrote in the survey.

Lynsey Clark is a second year student at University of California-Berkeley’s School of Social Welfare. She is currently a fellow in Fostering Media Connection’s Journalism for Social Change Program. 

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1 Comment

  1. Good Evening Mayor,
    Understanding the Foster Care system is very important, as well as it is very important to know where it is failing our children and parents. Children are considered paper weights on a Case Workers Desk. Foster Parents are Abusive but are allowed to continue fostering! Mother’s repeatedly lose custody of their children for abuse and neglect only for DCFS to place them continuously back into a home where they fear for their lives. Now I have an issue, I am an advocate for Child Rights and Parent Rights, especially Father’s Rights (since they tend to be completely overlooked in LA County). I would like to know as the Mayor of LA County what are you doing about this CASE:


    This case has been in the court system for FOUR YEARS. The social workers will not call the father back, nor allow him visitation because his fiance is an advocate? The court order clearly states he is allowed a minimum of 3 hours, the mother who abused the children and foster family deserve the rest of the time according to your Child Protection System. What Social workers will have failed to tell people is that once, twice, three times the children were taken just from the mother alone… The Father and his biological family was overlooked as guardians and caretakers.

    I would appreciate a comment regarding what your plans are to equal the system between the sexes and handle each child’s case with the love and attention it deserves.

    Very Respectfully,

    Nicole Blackwell- McDonald

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