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Fostering: How we can create a new world of hope overnight
Los Angeles County is in the midst of a foster crisis. In other parts of the country, numbers of children in foster care are spiking due to skyrocketing opioid use. Here, it is often poverty and a lack of housing that lead to neglect and escalate to abuse. It is not unusual for families experiencing housing insecurity to fear family separation and loss of their children. The face of foster youths is changing. Of the 34,000 children currently placed in the LA child welfare system, 21 percent, or roughly 7,000, are under the age of 2. The system is so oversaturated that babies, many taken directly from the hospital at birth, don’t have waiting homes. Office buildings meant to house cubicles are reconfigured for cribs and changing tables stacked wall to wall. This is no place for an infant to find the love and human contact he or she needs to thrive. Still, social workers are doing the very best that they can. The family court system is similarly impacted with social workers, attorneys and judges attempting to balance crushing caseloads. A child may have mere minutes to meet with his advocates before a decision is reached for his future. CASAs (Court Appointed Special Advocates) and mentors help, but there are so few that they are given to the children with the greatest need, and many others fall through the cracks without anyone really paying attention. In the current system, children who age out of the foster care system face a grim future. These are children who neither achieved reunification with their families of origin nor were adopted by a family. One-third will become homeless, one-fifth will be incarcerated and 70 percent of trafficked youths come from the foster care system.
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On-Demand Mobile Fueling in Irvine
On-demand mobile fueling of gasoline presents public safety and environmental concerns, as it involves dispensing of highly flammable liquid from a mobile fuel vehicle to another vehicle in a multitude of outdoor settings. Motor vehicle fueling using flammable liquids such as gasoline is currently authorized by the IFC only at fixed gas stations, and for private use on farms and construction sites. In response to interest in on-demand mobile fueling, In 2016, the Office of the California State Fire Marshal convened a Mobile Fueling Task Force comprised of representatives from State agencies, fire code officials, industry stakeholders and interested parties to develop and evaluate regulations for on-demand mobile fueling. The Mobile Fueling Task Force ultimately drafted model code regulations for on-demand mobile fueling operations. The draft regulations provide technical and administrative safety controls for on-demand mobile fueling of motor vehicles. These regulations were presented during the International Code Hearings in 2016 and were approved for inclusion in the 2018 IFC (Section 5707- Mobile Fueling). Although the 2018 IFC has been published, it has no authority unless or until the California State Fire Marshal or the local jurisdiction adopts any new or amended code. The IFC is a model code that presents minimum safety guidelines for new and existing buildings, facilities, storage, and processes. Typically, the California State Fire Marshal will consider amendments of the IFC and then amend the California Fire Code accordingly. In the case of mobile fueling, the Fire Marshal did not adopt Section 5707 of the IFC governing mobile fueling because, by statute, the California State Fire Marshal cannot adopt any code that is not a building standard. This means local jurisdictions retain the discretion to allow or disallow this activity.
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