Friday, December 14, 2007

A receiving center - can it possibly "feel" nurturing? I'm curious

Foster care center to break ground Monday
New receiving center in San Mateo County will replace the old one
Bishop, Shaun. San Mateo Daily News, Dec. 10, 2007.

Palo Alto,CA - Construction is slated to start Monday on a new receiving center for San Mateo County's foster children.

When it is finished in August 2008, the $3.6 million facility will replace the Human Service Agency's receiving center, which was built in the 1950s.

Youths ages 12 to 18 who are victims of abuse, neglect or maltreatment are sent temporarily to the facility to receive medical care and a nurturing environment. Approximately 120 youths go through the system annually and are moved to more permanent housing in an average of 29 days.

The new center will have roughly the same amenities as the old one, but will be newer and more centrally located, said Pravin Patel, human services manager for the agency.

"It sends out a very loud and clear message to the community that we value our children and, as I see it, this as an investment for our future," Patel said.

The 12,720-square-foot facility at 31 Tower Road will contain 12 beds, four less than the old building. But that will motivate workers to place youths more quickly into permanent housing, Patel said.

The new building will also sport two recreation rooms, two living rooms for boys and girls, space for staff, a dining room, kitchen, laundry room and an outdoor basketball and recreation area.

Funding is coming from three sources - $1.6 million from a past bond, $1 million from the Human Services Agency and $1 million from the county, Patel said.

The groundbreaking is scheduled to take place at 2:30 p.m. Monday at 31 Tower Road in San Mateo.