Town hall meeting for potential foster families

As of Jan. 1, 2017, California legislation requires that group homes for foster children and youth obtain national accreditation to provide more specialized services for their residents or be forced to shut their doors. The new requirements have put a strain on the already stressed Ventura County foster care network. On Saturday, Feb. 25, the Foster VC Kids Open Heart Town Hall meeting will be held for those interested in becoming foster families.

Amanda and Shaun Maxson are foster parents living in Ventura. Amanda, a registered nurse, and her husband have adopted youths with medical conditions, including a young boy with a congenital heart defect who is now 4 years old. They have a biological daughter as well.

Amanda will share her story at the Open Heart Town Hall Meeting.

“I see so much change in these kids in just the short amounts of time that we have them,” said Amanda. “I know a lot of people say it would be too hard to let them go, but these kids still deserve to feel valued and loved and to know what family looks like. Just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it’s not worth it.”

According to Foster VC Kids, Ventura County has over 1,000 children and youth in need of foster placement. The town hall meeting will feature a panel of current foster parents, former foster youth, healthcare professionals and others, and will be held this Saturday, Feb. 25, at 10 a.m. at the Ventura County Health Care Agency, 2240 E. Gonzales Road in Oxnard. For more information, visit

Memorial to be held for victims of filicide

The Oceanview Adult Day Program will host one of the 28 vigils being held nationwide as a Day of Mourning for the victims of filicide, the killing of one’s son or daughter.

Advocates will share stories of their own personal experiences and will pay tribute to the victims. A talent show will also be held, during which members will display art and present musical performances.

The event will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. on Wednesday, March 1, at the Oceanview Adult Day Program, 575 E. Surfside Drive, Port Hueneme. For more information, call 986-4818.

Orchestra events held around county

New West Symphony, in conjunction with New York’s Carnegie Hall, will present The Orchestra Rocks concerts for students and families on Wednesday, March 1; Thursday, March 2; and Sunday, March 5 across Ventura County.

The program encourages students in grades 3, 4 and 5 to clap, stomp, sing or play the recorder along with the orchestra, from the audience. The Symphony and Carnegie Hall have provided materials for 5,200 students and 200 teachers across 16 Ventura County school districts.

“Teachers and principals have been very grateful for the new program and the resources provided by the New West Symphony and Carnegie Hall that are allowing them to teach music in the classroom,” said Karen Gatchel, education programs manager with New West Symphony.

The final performance, The Orchestra Rocks Family Concert, will be open to the public and will take place at 2 p.m., Sunday, March 5, at the Fred Kavli Theatre, Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for children. For more information, visit