Trinity Opens Monterey Park Office

Monterey Park
Monterey Park

Monterey Park

Trinity Youth Services recently merged all Los Angeles County foster care and adoption offices into one centralized location in Monterey Park. This new location allows Trinity to better access all the families we serve.

Though there were some minor changes, most families were able to keep their assigned social worker. It is important to the agency to maintain the relationships between social workers and families, respecting the level of trust that has been developed over the time with the agency.

Monterey Park

Consolidating the West Covina, Palmdale and Long Beach offices to the one, centralized Monterey Park location reduces expenses and overhead, which in turn allows us to better serve the families and children in our care.

On August 23, the Monterey Park Foster Care and Adoptions Office hosted an open house so that the community and resource families could see the new office. Resource parents met with staff and other families and had the opportunity to share their own inspiring stories. Snacks and juice were provided to guests as they mixed and mingled in the new office.

Monterey Park

“The new office will accommodate not only the growth of the agency, but the addition of mental health services as well,” said Foster Care and Adoptions Director Jackie Jakob.

Trinity Youth Services is so excited to expand our capacity and reach more families looking to create a better future for children in need.

Monterey Park

Interested in becoming a foster or adoptive parent? Call 888-346-9645 or fill out our inquiry form to get started.


Jenelle Rensch

Jenelle RenschMarketing & Promotions Specialist
Jenelle maintains a distinctive look and voice for Trinity Youth Services through our online presence, media and community outreach. Before joining the Trinity team in 2016, Jenelle worked in the newspaper/magazine industry for nearly a decade as a graphic designer, photographer, writer and editor. Jenelle earned a bachelor’s degree in visual communications at California State University Fullerton and has won several awards throughout her career including a few from the National Newspaper Association.
Tel: (909) 825-5588 | Email: jrensch@trinityys.org


Trinity El Monte

Trinity El Monte

Author, marine biologist and conservationist Rachel Carson wrote that “Play, incorporating animistic and magical thinking is important because it: Fosters the healthy, creative and emotional growth of a child; Forms the best foundation for later intellectual growth; Provides a way in which children get to know the world and creates possibilities for different ways of responding to it; and Fosters empathy and wonder.”

For youth in foster care, such fundamental development opportunities are difficult to make reality. Furthermore, obtaining a sense of normalcy for a child living on a residential campus certainly has its challenges. Thanks to the support of community partners, children at Trinity Youth Services get a chance to learn basic social skills by going out to eat at a restaurant, team building skills though participation in sports, and opportunities to interact in nature to engage and inspire.

Nonprofit organization, Friends of Foster Children San Gabriel Valley (FOFC), recently donated to Trinity’s El Monte residential campus. The organization was established in 1976 to enhance the quality of life for abused, abandoned and neglected children in the San Gabriel Valley. The organization’s Foster Caring Committee approved a budget to provide 6 residential campuses in the area with spring and summer opportunities and experiences.

“The purpose of the Foster Caring Committee is to provide a resource to these facilities for immediate needs and for us to respond quickly. The facilities present their requests to their appointed liaison prior to each Committee meeting.  The Committee may award funds for cottage enhancements, recreational equipment, holiday parties, graduation expenses, craft supplies, and many more. Foster Caring has a limited budget and we stretch it as far and as fairly as possible at each meeting. We base our decisions on the type of request, the dollar amount and the urgency,” said Carole Kolla of the FOFC Foster Caring Committee.

The Foster Caring Committee chose to fulfill many of the boy’s requests at the Trinity El Monte residential campus including 6 skateboards and pads, 5 video games, 11 DVDs, 5 volleyballs, 4 basketballs and 1 hacky sack. The committee also provided new basketball shorts and swim trunks for their outdoor activities.

The donation also included some off campus activities. Youth in foster care face many challenges as they strive to just feel like a “normal” kid. Clearances and supervision must be in place and youth living on a residential campus can feel cooped up. This is why it is so important for them to have real life experiences off campus and to learn to develop in the area of social interactions. Thanks to FOFC, the youth were able to experience either a Dodger game, a Shakey’s buffet, or a day at Speed Zone this summer.

One group of boys went on “a trip to a favorite restaurant for dinner and an etiquette class, [which is] exciting for the boys who have earned a special off-campus outing,” the FOFC newsletter said. “The youth were given guidance on dressing nicely, how to order, table manners, party smarts, and showing kindness,” said Trinity El Monte Recreation Supervisor, Cathleen Duran.

“I admire Cathleen’s great love and support for the boys on campus and her dedication to Trinity El Monte. She is a pleasure to work with,” Carole said.

garden-el-monte

A surprising item on the boy’s wish list was gardening supplies. They chose a variety of plants and flowers to grow and have been diligent to keep the small garden prospering. “The good news is that the plants are still alive and flowering. Good job boys!” read the FOFC newsletter.

A big thank you to Friends of Foster Children San Gabriel Valley for their generosity in helping provide group enrichment activities, skill building opportunities and social outings during the spring and summer. These experiences are cherished by Trinity youth and staff as we work together with our community partners to bring a sense of normalcy to the lives of youth in foster care. These essential development opportunities truly make a difference as the youth learn to cope with and heal from the trauma in their lives. Trinity strives to be the #1 choice in providing quality care for children and their families, with one goal in mind: permanency for children and families so they can create a better future.

For more information regarding Trinity Youth Services programs, call 800-964-9811 or email info@trinityys.org.


Jenelle Rensch

Jenelle RenschMarketing & Promotions Specialist
Jenelle maintains a distinctive look and voice for Trinity Youth Services through our online presence, media and community outreach. Before joining the Trinity team in 2016, Jenelle worked in the newspaper/magazine industry for nearly a decade as a graphic designer, photographer, writer and editor. Jenelle earned a bachelor’s degree in visual communications at California State University Fullerton and has won several awards throughout her career including a few from the National Newspaper Association.
Tel: (909) 825-5588 | Email: jrensch@trinityys.org


Officially Fullers
Fuller Adoption
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Jack and Kendrena Fuller didn’t lose hope when their doctor told them they couldn’t have children. The couple, who live in Redlands, CA, decided to do something positive with their circumstances. In 2015, the Fullers decided to become foster parents.

Jackson was placed with them first, a hands-on, smart child who continues to wow the Fullers with his ability to be a fast learner. Then came Elyn, a smiley girl whose joy is to make others smile. Both were just a few weeks old when they came into Jack and Kendrena’s lives. Jackson, now 2, and Elyn, just a little over a year old, are officially Fullers.

“There was a hole for us and they filled it,” Jack said. Kendrena added that she would encourage others to foster-adopt. “It’s an amazing experience and a fulfilling feeling,” she said.

Officially Fullers

The whole family was present on the day of the adoption hearing and has been supportive of Jack and Kendrena’s foster-adopt journey from the beginning. “They love the children as much as we do,” Jack said. Family members towed balloons, signs and toys for the children, celebrating and cheering on the growing family.

The day was an exciting one for the Fullers. Kendrena described it as “amazing” and Jack said it was also a relief to officially be the children’s parents. However, the Fuller’s story doesn’t end here. Jack and Kendrena are in the process of adopting Jackson’s biological little sister who is just four months old. “They called us from the hospital. We had about five minutes to decide and we went for it,” Kendrena said. “We’re so glad, she’s a sweet girl.”

Watch for our next blog on the Fuller family as we continue the journey from foster care to adoption. If you are interested in becoming a foster or adoptive parent, call us at 888-346-9645 or email info@trinityys.org. You also may begin the process right now by filling out an inquiry form by clicking here.


Jenelle Rensch

Jenelle RenschMarketing and Promotions Specialist
Jenelle maintains a distinctive look and voice for Trinity Youth Services through our online presence, media and community outreach. Before joining the Trinity team in 2016, Jenelle worked in the newspaper/magazine industry for nearly a decade as a graphic designer, photographer, writer and editor. Jenelle earned a bachelor’s degree in visual communications at California State University Fullerton and has won several awards throughout her career including a few from the National Newspaper Association.
Tel: (909) 825-5588 | Email: jrensch@trinityys.org


core services

education core services

The Continuum of Care Reform (CCR) was designed so that children living out of their home would be provided the most appropriate placement in committed nurturing resource (foster) homes. Services and supports will be tailored based on each child’s needs. All of these services and supports fall into 6 Core Services: mental health, transition support upon entry, educational/physical/behavioral/extracurricular support, transition to adulthood support, permanency support, and Native American child services.

The Trinity Youth Services (TYS) team, along with our resource (foster) families, will directly provide the core services and support to children, Non-minor Dependents (NMD) and their families, fulfilling the requirements of the CCR.

Last month we outlined the second core services, transition support services and what that entails. This month we will look at educational, physical, behavioral, and extracurricular support. This core service covers a wide range of items that will help each child feel more “normal” in foster care.

core services

Educational

TYS will ensure that resource parents enroll school-aged children within three school days. The Treatment Foster Care Social Worker (TFCSW) will assist the resource parent if the school does not enroll the child immediately. TYS will ensure that children have access to the same academic resources as other students. TYS will ensure that if a child is struggling in school, the TFCSW along with the Child and Family Team will request that the school hold a Student Study Team (SST) meeting and/or an assessment for an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). The TFCSW will ensure that tutoring services are received, if needed. The TFCSW will assist youth in vocational and/or college preparatory tasks. The TFCSW will ensure that children and youth are receiving life skills training by the resource parents.

Physical, Behavioral, & Mental Health

The TFCSW will ensure that resource parents obtain all medical, dental, behavioral, and mental health services that the child needs with set time frames. The TFCSW will ensure that all children and youth have support and advocacy with respect to prompt and culturally sensitive interventions when being bullied for any reason, such as physical characteristics, foster care status, sexual orientation/gender identity expression (SOGIE), race/ethnicity, or age. Resource parents and the TFCSW are to work closely together to serve the needs of the children. Whenever there is a concern or question the resource parent should be notifying their assigned TFCSW.

Extracurricular

Part of normalizing the children’s experience in foster care is to get them involved in activities or groups either at school or in the community. Schools have a variety of clubs children can join—choir, art club, or sports. In the community, there are various recreational activities—swimming, baseball, softball, or Girl or Boy Scouts. Resource parent must include the children in making the choice of what type of activity interests them. Being involved in such activities helps the children feel connected to other people and make friends with other children with similar interests. Many communities offer short classes through their parks and recreation departments, this is an inexpensive way to expose your children to a variety of activities.

My next blog will cover transition to adulthood support. This topic dives into the important support offered to TYS youth as they obtain independence.


Jacqueline Jakob copyJackie Jakob, Foster Care and Adoptions Director
Having over 20 years’ experience, Jackie currently oversees Trinity Youth Services’ operations of foster care and adoptions programs throughout Southern California and in Houston, Texas. She received a bachelor’s degree in law and society from University of California Santa Barbara, a master’s degree in social work from California State University Long Beach and recently became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Jackie enjoys spending time with her husband and two children attending various baseball, softball and judo meets. She is on the parent board for a judo dojo and is one of the troop leaders for her daughter’s Girl Scout troop. Additionally, she really enjoys running half marathons and aims to run 4 to 5 races each year.
Tel: 909.825.5588 | Email: info@trinityys.org


img_9805-2-web

img_9805-2-web

Ka’Tai’Lin (5), Q’iyonna (7) and Ke’ontae (9) spent over 4 years in adoptive foster care. Finally on June 8, 2017, the children found their forever family.

Tesia Weaver became a foster parent because she believed it “needed to be done. There are so many children in the world who need help. It just needed to be done,” she said. She began by fostering Q’iyonna.

Tesia saw Q’iyonna’s brother waiting for her after school, “They hugged and I knew they needed to be together,” she said. She contacted their social worker and asked what it would take to keep them together. Tesia was informed that Q’iyonna didn’t have just one brother, but two and in order to keep them together, Tesia was asked if she would consider adopting.

She knew the children not only needed each other, but they needed her in order to keep them together. She rose to the occasion and decided to adopt all three children. When they heard they would be reunited, “they were so excited,” Tesia said. “Q’iyonna was very excited when she heard her brothers were coming to live with us.”

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On the day of the adoption, Tesia explained she was feeling a multitude of emotions, including “excited and overwhelmed,” she said. “It has been a long time coming. We’re finally here! We’re all excited and happy to be here.” There have been challenges along the way including helping the children understand the steps that must be taken and comforting them with reassurance that they do in fact have a family.

Tesia has found it a challenge “explaining to the children it’s almost here, when it takes a few years. It’s a process,” she said. Ke’ontae was teased at school for being a foster child, but Tesia made sure to reinforce to him that he is part of a family and has a loving home.

Throughout the process, Tesia had the support of her mother, two young adult children and her church. The family has utilized counseling provided by their church and their pastor, Dwayne Jones, has stepped up to be a positive and supportive influence in the children’s lives. The children help at the church with small tasks and Pastor Jones recently taught Ke’ontae how to play the drums.

Their pastor attended the adoption for moral support and commented that he is “happy for them. They have been looking forward to this for a long time.”

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As they waited for their hearing, the children stood out from others, playing with math flash cards, quietly reading, and reading to each other. “The children are very smart,” Pastor Jones said.

Tesia’s mother began looking through photos on her phone of the children since the time they were placed with the family. She reminisced, shared stories and giggled at the sweet things the children had done and all the things they have accomplished as a family leading up to this day. During the hearing, the children’s new “official” grandma was so moved with emotion that, at the end, in tears, she embraced the children.

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Tesia looked proud of her growing family as she sat down with the children at the judge’s podium, asking the boys to kindly “sit up straight, please,” to which the children promptly complied, remembering their manners.

To anyone considering adopting or foster parenting, Tesia says, “go for it. There is a feeling of completion for all and the children no longer feel abandoned.”

If you are interested in fostering or adopting like Tesia, call 888-346-9645 or email info@trinityys.org today.


Jenelle Rensch

Jenelle Rensch, Marketing and Promotions Specialist
Jenelle maintains a distinctive look and voice for Trinity Youth Services through our online presence, media and community outreach. Before joining the Trinity team in 2016, Jenelle worked in the newspaper/magazine industry for nearly a decade as a graphic designer, photographer, writer and editor. Jenelle earned a bachelor’s degree in visual communications at California State University Fullerton and has won several awards throughout her career including a few from the National Newspaper Association.
Tel: (909) 825-5588 | Email: jrensch@trinityys.org


photography by adrian ramirez

photography by adrian ramirez
Photography by Adrian Ramirez

Adrian Ramirez came from deep trauma and a broken family when he was placed into a residential treatment program at Trinity Youth Services. Every day at home was a struggle, drowning in “arguments, threats and everything in between,” Adrian described.

“I spent most of my time keeping busy with school and friends. I only came home to sleep and woke up the next morning to drive myself to school,” he said.

Despite the trauma in his life, Adrian was always a good student and wished more than anything to be able to focus on his schoolwork. In high school, he enjoyed English and has even written novels, which he hopes to one day publish. His favorite activity was getting involved with after school clubs and volunteering.

His single mother struggled to keep the pieces of the family together and tensions continued to build. From the age of 12, Adrian battled with Bipolar Disorder. “My family saw me as unstable and out of control. Truth is, I was. I went from a sweet little kid to a spawn from the ‘underworld’ without notice. My depression was the worst,” he said. During his “low phases,” Adrian experienced a negative interaction with a family member, which would later result in his placement at Trinity Youth Services.

photography by adrian ramirez
Photography by Adrian Ramirez

Right away the staff at Trinity recognized that he was extremely goal oriented, motivated and driven. “He was very helpful in the dorm, doing extra chores, encouraging the other youth to participate in decorating and celebrating holidays,” his supervisor, Janet Sutton, said. “He actually started a tradition in the dorm for Secret Santa. I thought it was an excellent suggestion and is something we plan to keep doing.”

Adrian attributes his success in Trinity’s program to the staff. “They put in a group effort to get me through the program and I would get some great advice from them,” he said. “I always had someone to go to.”

“Completing the program changed my life,” Adrian said. “The main thing I learned from being at Trinity is to first of all, take advantage of the blessings and opportunities given to you and to be incredibly grateful for those opportunities.”

Adrian says he learned accountability and how to self-analyze to correct the behaviors he began in his childhood. “One of the challenges he faced was learning about himself, what he valued and where his morals were,” his supervisor said.

photography by adrian ramirez
Photography by Adrian Ramirez

Four months ago, Adrian graduated from Trinity’s program just after his 19th birthday. He is currently in college studying physiology/biology and business administration. “He has some incredible goals for himself and was always a motivated student, who really paid attention to his academics,” his supervisor said.

Among Adrian’s many skills, he also has a love for photography. He began this interest in high school and is self-taught. “I got a camera one year for my birthday and I took it everywhere. Photography taught me patience, timing and appreciation for the smallest and sometimes the seemingly most insignificant things,” he said. He also taught himself how to use Photoshop and other software. Now a 4.0 GPA college student, he is taking photography courses and business classes to learn how to turn his hobby into an entrepreneurial venture.

However, his main focus of study is medicine. Adrian plans to transfer to a four-year university where he will discover how to develop this passion into a career. Perhaps it is the time he has spent looking after his grandmother, taking her to doctor appointments, which lead him to pursue an interest in the medical field. “I am still undecided in what particular field, but it will be in medical, perhaps become a specialty doctor,” he said.

photography by adrian ramirez
Photography by Adrian Ramirez

Despite the unstable experiences of his past, with the help of Trinity Youth Services, he has learned how to cope and deal with the challenges he is presented and is more likely to take responsibility in a situation. He currently lives with his mom and grandmother and gladly takes the initiative to assist his family with household tasks like cooking and cleaning.

“I now spend my time doing school work, practicing my ukulele, working on my photography business plan, keeping healthy, going to the gym and spending time with friends and family,” he said.

Adrian believes “we are all dealt cards, some worse than others. It’s not about the cards. It’s about how you deal with them. A person’s greatest tool is the ability to learn from their experiences,” he said. “The only person standing between you and success is yourself.”

To learn more about Trinity Youth Services programs, call (800) 964-9811 or email info@trinityys.org.


Jenelle Rensch

Jenelle Rensch, Marketing and Promotions Specialist
Jenelle maintains a distinctive look and voice for Trinity Youth Services through our online presence, media and community outreach. Before joining the Trinity team in 2016, Jenelle worked in the newspaper/magazine industry for nearly a decade as a graphic designer, photographer, writer and editor. Jenelle earned a bachelor’s degree in visual communications at California State University Fullerton and has won several awards throughout her career including a few from the National Newspaper Association.
Tel: (909) 825-5588 | Email: jrensch@trinityys.org


transition support

transition support

The Continuum of Care Reform (CCR) was designed so that children living out of their home would be provided the most appropriate placement in committed nurturing foster homes. Services and supports will be tailored, based on each child’s needs. All of these services and supports fall into 6 Core Services: mental health, transition support upon entry, educational/physical/behavioral/extracurricular support, transition to adulthood support, permanency support, and Native American child services.

The Trinity Youth Services (TYS) team, along with our foster/resource families, will directly provide the core services and support to children, Non-minor Dependents (NMD) and their families fulfilling the requirements of CCR.

Last month we outlined the first core services: specialty mental health services, and how TYS will provide that service. This month we will look at transition support services. Transition support services focus on initial entry and when a placement changes for a child.

TYS Treatment Foster Care Social Workers (TFCSW) along with the Child and Family Team (CFT) will develop a permanency goal upon entry and when a placement changes, and will determine what services are needed to support the family through permanency. A permanency goal will either be reunification, adoption or guardianship. The CFT must include the child, resource parents, biological family, County Social Workers and any other identified support of the child. The TFCSW will prepare the child and the resource parent on what to expect at a CFT meeting and will encourage the child to voice their needs to the team. Each CFT meeting will be unique and based on the needs of the child and family. At that time, a case plan will be developed. Each member of the team may be tasked to be responsible for items of the plan.

Upon initial entry into placement, TYS works directly with resource parents and the biological family to coordinate visitation as directed by the court order. Visitation services, including monitoring and transportation to and from visits, are the responsibility of the resource parents and agency.

In the event of a placement change, the TCFSW will explain the need for the change in an age appropriate manner. If appropriate, the youth will have a say in the change of placement. When a youth is known to be transferring from another agency, TYS will work with the other agency to ensure the transition is smooth. TYS will request and provide all records of the youth including, but not limited to, medical and educational records.

TYS will also assist the child in family finding in order to locate family members or other supportive adults that may be willing to provide permanency.

TYS will provide resource parents with temporary care to assist in stabilizing and maintaining placement.

Stay tuned for my next blog, which will cover educational/physical/behavioral/extracurricular support. This topic delves into the important support offered to TYS children in their everyday lives.


Jacqueline Jakob copyJackie Jakob, Foster Care and Adoptions Director
Having over 20 years’ experience, Jackie currently oversees Trinity Youth Services’ operations of foster care and adoptions programs throughout Southern California and in Houston, Texas. She received a bachelor’s degree in law and society from University of California Santa Barbara, a master’s degree in social work from California State University Long Beach and recently became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Jackie enjoys spending time with her husband and two children attending various baseball, softball and judo meets. She is on the parent board for a judo dojo and is one of the troop leaders for her daughter’s Girl Scout troop. Additionally, she really enjoys running half marathons and aims to run 4 to 5 races each year.
Tel: 909.825.5588 | Email: info@trinityys.org


 

Brenes

Brenes Adoption

Brother and sister, Cesar (13) and Betzaida (12), were placed into foster care eight years ago. They were detained from their birth mother, placed into the care of their older sister, then were also removed from her care. With their father deceased and no other family to provide them the care they needed, Trinity Youth Services began a search for a loving forever family. Three years ago, they were placed with resource parents, Maria De La Torre and Francisco Brenes.

“Ever since the children were placed in our home, they asked to be adopted,” Maria said. Francisco and Maria didn’t need much convincing. They were happy to grant the children their wish of becoming a family.

“They didn’t have anyone to care for them. They didn’t have a stable home,” Maria said, and on May 4, 2017 the children legally became the children of Maria and Francisco. “Today, I feel hope that everything is going to be ok and happy.”

As they waited in the lobby for their adoption court hearing, Cesar said he was, “feeling good about today,” to which his sister nodded in agreement.

judge

Francisco, Maria and the children had been waiting with anticipation for their adoption. “There was a lot leading up to this day and now everything is coming into place,” Maria said, explaining that it was well worth it.

In the hearing, the family signed paperwork, were explained their rights as a family, and were proclaimed a legally recognized family with all cherished responsibilities and benefits. Maria and Francisco hopped up to give their new family members great-big bear hugs. The children understood the seriousness of the day and once the judge made it official, they began to smile from ear to ear. A sense of relief washed over their faces knowing they now officially belong to a family.

brother-and-sister

Francisco and Maria look forward to encouraging their children in their interests and schoolwork, Cesar with his soccer and “Betzy” with her love for art and animals. “They love outdoor activities,” Maria said.

The Brenes family also foster a 3-year-old girl and a one-year-old boy, they are parents to children in their 30s and are grandparents to a 4-year-old little girl. Maria encourages others to foster and adopt. She is currently convincing her daughter of how rewarding it can be to care for a child whose greatest wish is to belong to a loving family.

Francisco

If you are interested in becoming a foster or adoptive parent, contact Trinity Youth Services to make a child’s wish for a family come true: 888.346.9645 or info@trinityys.org.


Jenelle Rensch

Jenelle Rensch, Marketing and Promotions Specialist
Jenelle maintains a distinctive look and voice for Trinity Youth Services through our online presence, media and community outreach. Before joining the Trinity team in 2016, Jenelle worked in the newspaper/magazine industry for nearly a decade as a graphic designer, photographer, writer and editor. Jenelle earned a bachelor’s degree in visual communications at California State University Fullerton and has won several awards throughout her career including a few from the National Newspaper Association.
Tel: (909) 825-5588 | Email: jrensch@trinityys.org


Mexican Immigrant

Mexican Immigrant

At Trinity Youth Services, our mission is to “help children and families create a better future.” This is the story of Albert,* a foster youth who found his “better future” by becoming an American citizen.

After years of being separated from her son, Albert’s mother paid smugglers, known as “coyotes,” to bring him to the United States from El Salvador, where he had been living with his grandmother. Albert was arrested by immigration officers as he crossed the border and was detained for nearly a month before being released to his mother and her American husband in Los Angeles.

Albert had difficulty adjusting to his new life. His mother and stepfather had a new baby and Albert felt like he didn’t belong. Language issues made school challenging, so Albert stopped attending and fell in with a gang. He had only been in the country seven months before he committed a minor crime, which led to his arrest and confinement in juvenile hall. Albert was arraigned and placed into the care of Trinity Youth Services. His mother then refused to be involved in her son’s life, saying he was “ruining” her new family. At 12 years old, Albert felt his life was over.

Because Albert had no other family in the United States, the judge allowed him to stay in Trinity’s care through the Department of Child and Family Services. Albert spent a total of two years in Trinity’s residential treatment program, working with staff to acquire the knowledge, skills and tools that would prepare him to achieve his lifelong dream of becoming an American citizen. When he was ready, Trinity Team Support Workers, with the volunteer assistance of a paralegal, helped Albert navigate the process, complete the necessary paperwork and even accompanied him to court hearings in an effort to make his dream become a reality.

After becoming a citizen, Albert felt something was still missing from his American dream…

Because approximately 50% of foster children experience some length of homelessness as adults, and knowing that Albert could not return to his family, his Trinity treatment team worked tirelessly to find a resource family to care for him. He met with one potential foster mother, who was retired from the juvenile justice system, and the two immediately connected. Because of her previous occupation, her experience fostering other children and being the child of immigrants herself, she understands the challenges Albert has had to endure. Following their meeting, Albert couldn’t stop talking about her; how nice she was; how much they had in common and how he couldn’t believe she had carpeting all throughout her home! Albert is in the process of being placed with his new resource family.

football

Now 14 years old, Albert is excelling in high school and is making friends. He discovered a love of football, joined the team and won a certificate for “Best Freshmen Defensive Player.” Even though Albert spoke very little English when he came to Trinity, English is now his favorite subject. After high school, he plans to attend college and eventually play pro football.

Only two years after feeling his life was over, Albert is facing a bright future. People around him describe him as a “pleasant” and “focused” young man who always has a smile on his face and loves to make people laugh. Albert is constantly expressing his gratitude for his new “mom,” and for his Trinity “family.” Although his life in the United States is very different than the one he had dreamed of for so long, he still believes dreams do come true – with hard work, opportunity and the support of caring individuals.

At Trinity, we’re here for the good times and bad; to provide focused guidance and therapeutic treatment when needed, and to be a sympathetic listener. We see lives change and dreams come true and we can’t wait to see this young man make a touchdown at his first pro football game!

If you have room in your heart and your home to care for a child like Albert, please submit an inquiry form on our website. For additional information about becoming a foster or adoptive parent, call (888) 346-9645 or email info@trinityys.org.

*Names and details have been omitted or altered to protect the privacy of the child.


Jenelle Rensch

Jenelle Rensch, Marketing and Promotions Specialist
Jenelle maintains a distinctive look and voice for Trinity Youth Services through our online presence, media and community outreach. Before joining the Trinity team in 2016, Jenelle worked in the newspaper/magazine industry for nearly a decade as a graphic designer, photographer, writer and editor. Jenelle earned a bachelor’s degree in visual communications at California State University Fullerton and has won several awards throughout her career including a few from the National Newspaper Association.
Tel: (909) 825-5588 | Email: jrensch@trinityys.org


Happiness

Happiness

The Continuum of Care Reform (CCR) was designed so that children living out of their home would be provided the most appropriate placement in committed nurturing foster homes. Services and supports will be tailored based on each child’s needs. All of these services and supports fall into 6 Core Services: mental health, transition support upon entry, educational/physical/behavioral/extracurricular support, transition to adulthood support, permanency support, and Native American child services.

The Trinity Youth Services (TYS) team, along with our foster/resource families, will directly provide the core services and support to children, Non-minor Dependents (NMD) and their families fulfilling the requirements of CCR.

In this blog, we will outline the first Core Services, Specialty Mental Health Services, and how TYS will provide that service.

Trinity Youth Services is contracted with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LADMH) as well as San Bernardino County Department of Behavioral Health (SBDBH) to provide an array of Specialty Mental Health Services including: Individual/Family Therapy, Collateral Interventions, Medication Support, Therapeutic Behavior Services (TBS), In Home Behavior Support, and Targeted Case Management. These services are delivered by therapists meeting the requirements of each County’s contracts and the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. TYS therapists are trained in Evidence-Based Practices and Outcome Measures designed to meet the needs of the children served.

Assessment

Each child receives a comprehensive assessment upon intake to determine the appropriate course of treatment involving therapy, medication, school, recreation, reunification with family, or transitional housing. Once the assessment is completed, a treatment plan is developed with the Child and Family Team (CFT) to determine goals intended to reduce symptoms, improve behavior, and improve interactions with family and other areas of concern. The primary goal is to return each child to his/her family whenever this is possible and appropriate, to a lower level of placement, or to another permanent placement such as adoption.

mental health

Individual Treatment

Each child who meets medical necessity receives individual therapy on a weekly basis, provided by a highly-qualified therapist. Therapy is conducted in English, or efforts are made to secure staff to assist in providing services in the most comfortable language for the child, along with appropriate cultural competency and humility. Sessions can address a multitude of presenting problems, including those relating to trauma, anger, victimization, substance abuse, and mood disorders (anxiety, depression, etc.). Therapists are able to utilize several Evidence-Based Practices (EBP) that fit the specific challenges of each child, and they will monitor progress with accompanying outcome measures.

Family Therapy and Family Reunification

Family plays a very important role in successful treatment. Every effort is made by the CFT to ensure family contact/participation, including assistance with transportation or language barriers. This will be accomplished under the guidelines of the Core Practice Model through Child Family Team Meetings (CFTM). Family therapy occurs at least monthly or more often as needed.

Evidence-Based Practices

All children are assessed to determine the best course of treatment to address their mental health needs. In addition to the standard therapeutic methods for which clinicians are routinely trained, Trinity offers three other Evidence-Based Practices designed to address a variety of complex mental health issues:

  1. Seeking Safety: Seeking Safety is a trauma informed model focusing on developing alternative functional coping skills. It also addresses topics related to anger management, substance abuse and prevention. Seeking Safety, while used in Individual Therapy as appropriate, is also the group model for Anger Management and Drug Prevention;
  1. Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TFCBT): TFCBT is an individual, short-term treatment that involves individual and joint sessions with the child and parent. The goal of TFCBT is to help address the bio-psychosocial needs of the child and sharing their trauma narrative with their parents or primary caregivers. Some TYS therapists are similarly trained in Individual Cognitive Behavior Therapy (I-CBT);
  1. Managing and Adapting Practice (MAP): This approach allows the clinicians to adapt treatment to scenarios where children have more than one problem area. This approach uses research studies, tracks progress, and implements multiple interventions best suited to the individual child.

Medication Support

Psychiatric evaluations are initially conducted by a licensed psychiatrist to determine if medications are needed and to provide further diagnostic information to the assessing therapist.  If medications are prescribed, the child attends follow up psychiatric visits at least monthly, or as often as needed as determined by the treating doctor. When medication is not necessary/prescribed, children may continue psychiatric care if referred for specific issues or needs.

Stay tuned for my next blog, which will cover transition support. This topic dives into the important support offered to TYS children as they enter foster care.


Jacqueline Jakob copyJackie Jakob, Foster Care and Adoptions Director
Having over 20 years’ experience, Jackie currently oversees Trinity Youth Services’ operations of foster care and adoptions programs throughout Southern California and in Houston, Texas. She received a bachelor’s degree in law and society from University of California Santa Barbara, a master’s degree in social work from California State University Long Beach and recently became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Jackie enjoys spending time with her husband and two children attending various baseball, softball and judo meets. She is on the parent board for a judo dojo and is one of the troop leaders for her daughter’s Girl Scout troop. Additionally, she really enjoys running half marathons and aims to run 4 to 5 races each year.
Tel: 909.825.5588 | Email: info@trinityys.org


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