Foster parents in California have received inquiries from a division of the state government asking how many unaccompanied migrant children they could potentially house, providing the option of “26+” children, according to a new report.
The Daily Mail reports that foster parents in the state have received a voice mail message from the Community Care Licensing Division (CCLD), a part of California’s Department of Social Services, that states: “This is an emergency message, please respond to this urgent message from the Community Care Licensing Division. CCLD would like to know how many available beds you have to serve additional youth.”
Travis and Sharla Kall, who supervise a non-profit organization addressing human trafficking, said they received the voicemail on March 12. They subsequently received an email (a screenshot of which is provided by the Daily Mail) stating:
Important message from the Community Care Licensing Division (CCLD) –CA Department of Social Services. Please respond to this urgent message from the Community Care Licensing Division. CCLD would like to know how many available beds you have to serve additional youth.
Four options were listed below:
Available bed capacity is zero.
Available bed capacity is 1-10.
Available bed capacity is 11-25.
Available bed capacity is 26+.
Sharla Kall asserted, “At any given point in time there are 30,000 plus children in the L.A. County foster care system alone. So to ask us already certified foster parents to take on children from another country when we can barely take care of our own foster crisis doesn’t seem beneficial to either side because either way someone loses a bed.”
Travis Kall, who with his wife is already raising their six-year-old biological twins as well as two foster four-month-old twins, told the Daily Mail, “Usually the maximum amount of children you are allowed to foster at any one time is six. We called our case worker and she told us that everyone was calling her because they had got that same call. She said there was a big influx of children coming in, but she didn’t know where from.”
He added, “I consider it human trafficking. It’s not the burden of taking kids in because we have the heart for it, but these are kids that were taken from the border for a money scheme and now they’re going to use us resource parents to take care of them.”
A friend of the Kalls who is also a foster parent said she received an email from her agency that read, “As many of you are already aware, CCLD has been sending automated emails and phone calls asking you about available beds to serve additional youth. They are trying to address the needs of a record number of unaccompanied children who are arriving from Central America who are escaping impossible situations such as poverty, violence and natural disasters.”
Asked for comment, the California Department of Social Service stated:
In the case of unaccompanied minor children who cross the border, responsibility for their care falls under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Should any unaccompanied minors in this situation be placed by the federal government in licensed children’s residential facilities or homes in California, our role at CDSS is to ensure licensed facilities meet California’s health and safety standards. In response to a request from HHS for an expedited effort to determine which licensed facilities may be willing to assist, CDSS sent out a survey to licensed homes.