Family Finding FAQ
Below we have listed the frequently asked questions about our company, foster children, family finding and gift-giving.
Is my Donation Tax Deductible?
Not everyone can take advantage of tax deductions, only if you itemize your deductions using a Schedule A. If you don't itemize your taxes, then there is no use for a tax deduction.* However, your donation is greatly appreciated by the foster children you help.
Why Media Arts Center?
You may be thinking "What does a media center have to do with foster children?" That's a good question. Like many socially conscious organizations, our purpose is to do social good. In 2012, we decided the way to do this was to have a fiscal sponsor so donors could have tax deductions as an incentive to give.
Unfortunately, many non-profits that offer to be a fiscal sponsor have a menu of products and services that the sponsored has to buy. If we are paying money for services to an organization, we have less money to devote to family finding and moving children out of foster care. As a donor, we're sure you want your money to do as much good as possible.
Media Arts Center San Diego charges a very modest amount to be our fiscal sponsor. And there was a very important reason to ally Find Families In Mexico with their organization. Among their many projects, they created the San Diego Latino Film Festival.
Now in its 20th year, this movie festival attracts producers, writers, directors and actors from all across Latin America. People who may not be famous to non-Hispanics are household names for Latinos. Actors from telenovelas, the cultural equivalent of daytime soap operas, and international movies participate in the festival each year.
By allying Find Families In Mexico with Media Arts Center San Diego, we receive exposure to these movers and shakers and have opportunities to get our message out to the Hispanic community both in the U.S. and abroad.
Working with Media Arts Center San Diego is a strategic business move and one that benefits our donors all of which ultimately leads to our moving more children out of foster care.
Are All Hispanic Foster Children Undocumented?
No. There is a general perception by the public that if a foster child is Hispanic, it automatically means they are in the U.S. without documents. Could this be true? Yes. Is this often the case? No.
For instance, a Hispanic child could be second generation Mexican-American. This means at least one grandparent was born in Mexico, and at least one parent was born in the U.S. In this case the child was also born in the U.S. So we have a U.S.-born child of U.S.-born parents, and the child is Hispanic.
Also if you are familiar with Texas and the Rio Grande River, you know there have been times when because of a great storm, the river moved. People would be living in Texas one day and living in Mexico the next and visa versa. This also means one day you may have been a Mexican citizen and the next, you and your property were part of Texas.
Bottom line: sometimes issues aren't as clear cut as people would like them to be.
How Does a Child Get Into Foster Care?
There are several ways in which a child comes to be in foster care.
The child was removed from the home because they were being physically or sexually abused.
The child was in an environment where there was criminal activity (a parent was making, using or selling drugs).
The parent(s) abandoned the child, died or were killed.
Why Aren't Counties Paying for Family Finding?
That is a great question. A study in 2008 showed that there are huge savings ($200,000 per month) if just 37 children were placed out of foster care. Perhaps the officials who decide which programs get more funding do not know about this study and the cost-savings for taxpayers.
A few social workers have shared that government bookkeeping isn't as straight forward as what you or I might imagine, making it difficult to know where money is used or moved to. We don't have a definite answer for you at this time. What we do know is that regardless of the reasons, by law all adult family members are to be located and notified when their child relative(s) is in U.S. foster care.
Got a Question We Didn't Answer?
Let us know if you have a question or concern that was not addressed. The more you share with us, the better we can provide the information people such as you want to know. Use teh Facebook form below and write in your comments. We'll respond and let you know whenwe have posted new information. And be sure to donate so you can help make a lasting impact on the life of a foster child.
* Disclaimer: Information on this site about tax deductions is not intended to replace professional tax advice. To ensure you can take a deduction, please talk with your accountant, bookkeeper or the IRS.