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Grant Programs History

LFI has received Federal, State, and local county funding since its inception to provide culturally relevant services to the communities of Southern California.  

Latino Kinship Adoption Supportive Services (2001-2012)

LFI was awarded the California State Department of Social Services (CDSS) Latino Kinship Adoption Grant. LFI implemented a program to provide supportive services to facilitate Latino Kinship adoptions in Southern California.  Services included: educating relative caretakers about the application process, helping families complete the necessary paperwork, completing kinship home studies and providing educational workshops and proving family structured activities. 

Latino Recruitment & Adoption Innovation (2001-2004)

LFI was awarded the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Adoptions Opportunities Children’s Bureau Grant Number: 90-CO-0905 to recruit Latino adoptive parents for Latino sibling sets, males and children 10 and older.  The project exceeded its objectives and recruited 198 Latino families and placed 69 children in adoptive homes.  Agency developed a Latino Focused Curriculum: Formalizing Families Ties through Adoption (Formalizando Lazos Familiares A Trávez de la Adopción).  

Infant Adoption Awareness Training Program, IAATP (2003-2013)

LFI was awarded the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Infant Adoption Awareness Training Program (IAATP) from 2003 thru 2013.  The grant award was made pursuant to the legislative authority of the Children’s Health Act of 2000. Title XII, Subtitle A – Infant Adoption Awareness.  The IAATP Federal Grant educated health care professionals who work with pregnant women about the adoption options with training in all fifty-eight counties in California and Puerto Rico. LFI was one of six national grantees and together contributed to the development of the Infant Adoption Awareness Unified Curriculum.  The IAATP was an essential and informative one-day, four or six-hour training on infant adoption for Healthcare Providers, Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, School, Substance Abuse and Youth Counselors, Health Educators, Nurse Practitioners, Physicians or any professional who worked with women and teens with an unplanned pregnancy. Participants received CEU’s and training. Traning materials were also available in Spanish. 

 

The training goals were to:

 

Present the option of adoption to pregnant women and teens in an objective and non-biased manner; Discuss historical trends and perspectives regarding adoption; Describe various adoption options, including open, semi-open, closed/confidential, kinship and step-parent adoptions; Discuss Federal and California legislation and procedures governing adoption, including the rights of the birth mother and birth father; Discuss cultural, social and personal influences on adoption decision-making, including special considerations for teens; Describe practical and effective approaches towards presenting adoption as an option to women and teens with an unplanned pregnancy; Provide appropriate referrals and resources available within the community.  A total of 8677 providers were trained throughout the state of California including 2335 participants in Puerto Rico. 

Nuestras Familias, Abandoned Infant's Assistance Program, AIA (Federal Grant: 2005-2009)

LFI was awarded the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Abandoned Infant’s Assistance (AIA) grant # 90CB0148, 2005-2009.  LFI provided culturally responsive comprehensive services to pregnant and parenting Latinas with histories of substance use and/or HIV/AIDS.  LFI provided the Abandoned Infants Assistance Program in Santa Ana, California and surrounding cities in Orange County, California, for 135 Latino families with children, ages 0-6 that were at risk for abandonment due to maternal substance abuse and/or HIV/AIDS.  The project served (309) children, 76% affected by substance abuse and 24% affected by HIV/AIDS. 

 

LFI implemented an innovated home-based and center-based model to prevent the abandonment of children and secure their safety by meeting the multiple needs of families. This project successfully provided specialized services and interventions aimed at mediating the detrimental effects of substance abuse and/or HIV/AIDS experienced by Latina women and their children living in Orange County. The multi-level services involved family assessment, family support, case management, advocacy, child assessment, parenting, health education, medical access, permanency planning, and alcohol/drug and mental health counseling. The efficacy of a multidisciplinary bilingual/bicultural service team comprised of a therapist, drug and alcohol counselor, case manager, parent educator, HIV specialist, group facilitator, proved crucial in assessing and meeting the economic, social, cultural, legal, health, and psychological needs of families

 

Facts on Latinas impacted by HIV/AIDS in LFI’s Nuestras Familias Program

  • 60% were married/living with partner

  • 40% were single parents

  • The average age was 34 years old

  • 27% reported completing the 8th grade in their country of origin

  • 34% reported completed 12 years of education

  • 93% migrated to the United States

  • 2 thirds had lived in the U.S. for less than 10 years

 

Children enrolled in the program

  • 1.6 years was the average age

  • 36% of children were infants

  • 76% of index children lived with siblings

  • The average number of sibling was 3

  • 23% of index children were identified with developmental delays

Mental Health Prevention Program, (MHSA-PEI) (Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health Grant: 2012 – 2016)

LFI provided its Prevention Early Intervention (PEI) Prevention Program primarily to Latino Monolingual Spanish Speaking adoptive, foster and kinship families in Los Angeles County. This target population continues to be greatly underserved.  Special emphasis was placed on stabilizing placement through education, case management, family consultations and family support groups.  The following deliverables were accomplished during the funding period 537 parents attended Family Trainings, Parent Groups and/or Parent Competency Activities and 505 parents received Case Management and/or Family Consultations. A total of 127 Program surveys were completed and submitted to DMH.  Survey highlights: one hundred percent (100%) of respondents felt that program services met their expectations and eighty-four percent (84%) felt more competent as a parent.  LFI was able to expand and enhance agency’s supportive services component to increase parental capacities for adoptive, foster and kinship parents.  Groups were offered both in English and Spanish.

 

LFI addressed three major issues facing families that included complicated grief and loss, high anxiety and social isolation.  Children and families who are involved in the child welfare system experience a variety of losses that include birth parent connections, divided loyalties, and social stigma. Children and families may be apprehensive of each other fearing that parent and child connections may not happen. This would result in another rejection/abandonment for the child and a “reaffirmation” to prospective applicants that they “were not good enough parents”. For these reasons, target population may fear further scrutiny, feel shame to express their worries/concerns or isolate themselves. All of these factors could ultimately contribute to family disruptions the worst outcome for this population.  

 

The two most significant risk factors or stressors program addressed were the poor family attachment that could lead to family disengagement, parent-child conflicts and ultimately a “failed placement” Our intensive case management, family consultations and parent support groups focused on reducing these risk factors.  Special emphasis was placed on educating families about the impact of trauma, grief, and loss, adoption/foster care dynamics and provided a safe place where parents could vent and share their feelings. Families also had the opportunity to hear “veteran families” talk about their experiences and feel a sense of “normalcy” and hope. One of the main goals was to provide anticipatory guidance, normalize feelings and feel supported by a community that reflected their own families.  Stressors related to child rearing and other stressors specifically as it relates to raising children with complex trauma histories from the child welfare system.  Again, program services focused on individualized case management services, family consultations, education, parent support groups, workshops and seminars specifically addressing family building through adoption, foster care, and kinship care.  

 

LFI identified and reinforced two major protective factors that were effective parenting, social competence/and problem-solving skills. Effective parenting that is grounded in knowledge of child development and how trauma can lead to mental health issues both for the child and parents if they are unaware of the possible symptoms.  Families were trained on one of the modules from Mental Health First Aid that specifically focused on the impact of stress on the body.  Parents’ actively engaged in this group activity and recall that this was one of their most memorable workshops. The focus was on helping parents identify the potential “red flags” of depression, anxiety both in themselves and their children.  Families were provided with community resources to support child, parent and family well-being. Social Competence and problem solving skills that reflect an understanding of neurobiology principles were reinforced through program services. Special emphasis was placed on understanding the concepts of regulated and dysregulated states both for themselves and their children and offered concrete suggestions to increase attuned developmentally and trauma informed parental relationships