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County program helps foster kids find a Home for the Holidays

Program pairs kids with families for celebrations
Posted at 8:19 AM, Dec 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-19 11:19:31-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A program through the County's office of Child Welfare Services is making sure every kid in the foster program gets to celebrate this holiday season.

The "Home for the Holidays" program pairs kids in the foster shelters with families for a holiday, so they don't have to spend the holiday alone.

"This is a great opportunity for families to kind of try it out and see what it's like to work with our youth," says Kimberly Giardina, the Director of Child Welfare Services.

Right now, San Diego County has about 140 kids in the foster program that need a foster family. While this program doesn't give them a long-term solution, it helps the kids through a difficult season.

"People open their homes," says Giardina. "They see that our youth are just like every other kid in the neighborhood."

Nanci Weinstein, who has fostered three kids through the county and adopted one, says it's an experience that's invaluable for both the kids and the families.

"I can't imagine what that might feel like for a child," she says. "Every moment is precious because this child is in a situation where they need someone to take care of them."

Families interested in participating in the Home for the Holidays program need to complete a background check, home safety inspection, training and orientation. The process can take several months.

While it may be too late for this holiday season, Giardina says people can try any holiday, secular or religious.

For more information, go to the county's website here or call 877-792-KIDS (5437).