Foster youth families learn to thrive

Children play in the sand during Thrive, an event geared towards bringing foster youth families together for a day of fun, at Bouquet Canyon Park on Saturday. Samie Gebers/The Signal

When Lauren Frey decided to organize Thrive, a community event for SCV’s foster youth families, she wanted to make sure that parents went home with the resources they needed.

Frey, who is the Saugus Union School District homeless and foster youth liaison, noticed that foster parents didn’t always have the money or the time to put their children in sports or after-school curricular activities.

That is why the Thrive event, held at Bouquet Canyon Park on Saturday, aimed to teach foster youth more about sports, exercise and to allow them to have a day of play.

“I wanted to give the kids an opportunity to come out and learn some new skills,” Lauren Frey said.

“They can take some sport equipment to take back with them and the parents can have a break. They might even make a connection with another foster parent.”

Cristina Ramm was one of the parents looking for a connection with others. She began fostering her three grandchildren in 2015 after their mother was incarcerated for drug use.

“This is still new for me,” Ramm said. “It has been a trying time for us.”

Valencia High School volunteers teach children a dance during Thrive, an event geared towards bringing foster youth families together, at Bouquet Canyon Park on Saturday. Samie Gebers/The Signal

Ramm was hoping to find resources to help her care for the children. She found that fostering three young boys has been a tough job, but she is hopeful that her daughter will take the steps she needs to recover and take over.

“I’m going to try to get some resources and maybe connect with other grandparents,” she said. “They could help me, I could help them.”

She thought that bringing her boys to this event was important to show them that they are not alone and that other children may be going through a similar situation.

“Sometimes you’re raising these kids and they think that this is only happening to them,” Ramm said. “But that’s not the case. There’s so many. There’s so many children that need love and care.”

Jami Hoslet, a Saugus Union School District teacher, began fostering three girls six months ago. She took her three girls to the event to spend time with them outdoors

“We weren’t planning on three, but we decided that this is what God had led us to,” Hoslet said.

“They are all a blessing.”

The free event, sponsored by ten local agencies, features various resources for foster youth families, games, jumpers, picnics, sports and face painting.

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