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Sunday, March 8, 2020

Consider becoming a foster parent

The San Francisco Human Services Agency (HSA) and legislators are urging SF residents to support children who have experienced abuse and neglect, by considering becoming a foster parent or mentor, or adopt SF kids. The Board of Supervisors Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee is emphasizing that new state mandates to place foster children with families rather than in group homes has increased the need for more local families to become foster parents.

HSA’s first priority is to keep at-risk children safe at home with their families. When not possible, social workers hope to place foster children with a trusted relative or identify caring foster families in San Francisco that can keep children connected to their community, in addition to the relatives, friends, and school connections they rely upon every day. HSA's new goal is to add 100 new foster homes in San Francisco so that the majority of foster children for whom the Agency cannot find a relative caregiver will be able to remain in the City.

The need for foster homes is increasing as state law requires foster children to transition out of group homes. Under California’s Continuum of Care Reform, new child welfare practices will reduce these group settings and increase home-based placements with foster families, which result in better long-term emotional and developmental outcomes for youth. For children on the path to reunifying with their family, remaining in San Francisco can also help facilitate essential visits and bonds with parents.

In 2000, there were more than 2,400 children in care (0-17 years old), and this year there are 485, representing a decrease of 80 percent. This is due to factors like family reunification efforts, resulting in children spending less time in foster care. Also, SF partnerships with neighborhood-based non-profit agencies to help prevent children from entering foster care by providing vital services to families in need. These services include counseling, child care, parent education, mentoring, case management, and other activities that strengthen families and improve children’s well-being.

SF encourages all kinds of people and families to become foster parents, including LGBTQ+ families, empty-nesters, singles, and couples with or without children. Renters and homeowners are welcome as well. Once approved, supportive benefits and services for foster parents include child care, financial support, successful parent training, mentorship, and respite care.

Visit or contact HSA at (415) 558-2200 to learn more about how to support foster children.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Battlebots tickets: What it's like to go to the Battlebots filming - 2019

This spring we went to the Battlebots filming for the second time. If you’re a fan of the show, you might notice that this year is a little different than last year. The big difference is that it’s 2 hours instead of 1. That means more battles. And that was a pleasant surprise for us, as we saw the line-up for our taping. There were a lot more battles! Here's what happened at the Battlebots filming experience last year.
Battlebots set. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Opinion study for teens and parents - Paid

Probe Market Research has an opinion study taking place on 7/25/2019 for teens (13-17) and adults (18-39) in San Francisco. They pay $125 for 45 minutes, $175 for 2.5 hours and $50 if a minor is accompanied by a parent (I'm assuming that's an additional $50).

Subject: Social Media.

Let the teen fill out the form themselves, or you should fill it out from their perspective. Here is the form:

They'll contact you if interested.

Monday, July 8, 2019

UCSF Study: 10-12 Year Old Girls and Their Parents - Paid

UCSF is recruiting for a study on family biology and parent-child social interactions. They are currently recruiting 10-12 year old girls and their parents for a two hour lab visit. Parents and kids will complete a few interactive tasks while the researchers monitor their physiology. Families can earn up to $100 for participating. Email for more information.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Changes at Disneyland and California Adventure

We used to make an annual spring break trek to Disneyland and California Adventure. We did so again this year, but it’s been a few years since we did both.
2919: both
2018: neither
2017: Disneyland and Universal Studios
2016: Disneyland and California Adventure
There have been a lot of changes since both 2016 and even 2017, mostly for the better. Here’s what was new for us. And no, we weren’t there in time for the Galaxy’s Edge opening.
The Mark Twain in the Rivers of America, with Galaxy's Edge in the background. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

Both parks

Is the Disneyland MaxPass Worth it?

The MaxPass was introduced at Disneyland/California Adventure since we last went. It's one of the changes at Disneyland in the last few years (read about other Disneyland changes here). It’s currently $15 per person per day. We are FastPassexperts, and the FastPass is free, so we debated whether to spring for the extra cost. We are so glad we did. Here’s why.
You can see Galaxy's Edge in the background. The app's listing of our FastPasses. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan
Benefits of the MaxPass
The MaxPass is part of the Disney app, and provides these benefits:

Monday, May 27, 2019

Our Disneyland Haunted Mansion Cake

For the first time in many years, we visited Disneyland when it wasn't Passover, and we could actually eat whatever we wanted. The plan was to get churros, as we always talk about that but aren't able to eat them during the holiday. This year when my sister said "let's get a churro" late afternoon, I told her to wait until after dinner. I had another plan.

Our trip to Disneyland was right in between my daughter and my sister's birthday, though this was not top of mind when we made reservations for the Blue Bayou, where we always wanted to eat, but didn't bother, given holiday restrictions.
The Blue Bayou restaurant in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

I decided to surprise them with a birthday cake. You can't order or find Disneyland cakes online.