The Bethke Family

In 2011, my wife and I began a journey of fostering where we became parents to six different children over a seven year period. We were also lucky enough to adopt three of those kids and become their “forever family.” It has been a rewarding but heartbreaking journey. Becoming a caregiver for California foster children has definitely been the hardest job either of us have ever undertaken. Much of our difficulty resulted from outdated or poorly-crafted child welfare policies that actually worked against the well-being of the children under our care. Most of the time we felt powerless to advocate for our children in a child welfare bureaucracy that often looked at us as mere childcare vendors for the state. As daily (24/7) caregivers, we knew these children (and their needs) better than anyone else, yet the “system” often ignored our concerns. We needed a larger organization to help us advocate for the best interests of the kids whose care had been entrusted to us. At that time no such organization existed.

But now I’m proud to serve as a board member for the California Alliance of Caregivers (CAC), that works with a growing membership of caregivers across the state to advocate for foster families in Sacramento. This is a young organization, however, and it needs watering. Please help this organization to grow and become an amplified voice for California’s foster children and their caregivers. California Alliance of Caregivers works with partner organizations to make sure the California child welfare system always serves the best interests of children while they are in foster care. – Rob Bethke.

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