Project 44 focuses on foster homes for South Lake Tahoe youth | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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Project 44 focuses on foster homes for South Lake Tahoe youth

Alexis Foley
Special to the Tribune

On any given day, a local child could be removed from his/her home as a result of abuse or neglect, and placed hours away because of a lack of foster homes in the community.

At an informational night on April 9, staff from Project 44, an initiative to recruit 44 foster homes locally, will be sharing information about what is involved with becoming foster or adoptive parents.

The next foster parent training class begins on April 20.

In October 2013, a local foster family, the Herrera Family, along with Megan Ciampa from Sierra Child and Family Services, recognized the lack of foster homes in South Lake Tahoe needed to be addressed.

“The community needs 44 homes to keep all the kids from Tahoe in Tahoe.”Jo Herrera

“The community needs 44 homes to keep all the kids from Tahoe in Tahoe, “ Jo Herrera said In December 2013 and that is when Project 44 was launched. Jo is the biological daughter of Tahoe foster parents April and Dan Herrera.

To kick off the project, Jo Herrera organized a comfort box drive. Community members assembled care packages for children entering foster care.

Ciampa said since the launch of Project 44, her agency has been contacted by more than 60 families interested in fostering, has trained more than 20 families and has certified six families.

Ciampa said when the program started, they had six homes in South Lake Tahoe, and now have 12.

“Progress is being made, but we still have a long way to go to get to 44.”

For more information about supporting Project 44 or becoming a foster parent in South Lake Tahoe, visit http://www.Project44.net and RSVP to Megan Ciampa at meganc@sierrachild.org, or 530-544-2111. There will be an information session on April 9, at 5:30 p.m., at Sierra Child and Family Services, located at 2580 Lake Tahoe Blvd.

Light snacks and free child care will be provided.


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