CAMARILLO — Casa Pacifica Centers for Children and Families recently hosted a Children’s Policy Forum over Zoom, bringing together agencies and policymakers to discuss how to best foster recovery for youth and families in the coming year.
More than 100 people attended the virtual event Friday.
They listened to panelists share their thoughts and perspectives on youth substance abuse, the foster system and the opportunities that lie ahead. Casa Pacifica is a residential treatment facility that offers crisis care to foster and at-risk children in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.
During the event, Peter Gelber, a long-time Casa Pacifica parent partner who has lived through family substance abuse issues, and Savannah Simpson, a 22-year-old who spent time in the Ventura County foster care system, spoke on their experience with substance use and the support they received in recovery.
“Nothing makes my heart smile more than connecting people that share a common mission,” Casa Pacifica Public Policy Officer Marika Collins said in a statement. “In this case, improving the lives of children and families with substance use issues.
“Given the numerous dedicated professionals in Sacramento within the various child-serving state agencies as well as the leaders within Ventura County, it just seemed like the logical thing to do: Bring state and county policymakers, decision makers, along with service providers and most importantly, the recipients of services, together to learn from one another.”
— Madison Hirneisen