MCLEAN, Va., Jun 07, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Summertime can be difficult for both children in foster
care and their caregivers. To help the situation, Capital One
(NYSE:COF) partnered with the District's Child and Family Services
Agency (CFSA) to create Foster One Cool Summer, a program that gives
children in Washington, D.C., foster care the opportunity to have an
enriching experience while discovering the fun and excitement of
attending summer camp.
"Capital One has provided us with a wonderful new option for
developing foster children skills and talents," said CFSA Director
Brenda Donald Walker. "All the potential outcomes from summer camp -
leadership, self-esteem, making new friends and having fun - will
build valuable skills for children."
Capital One's support will go directly to CFSA to benefit children
in foster care. The funds will provide free summer activities for more
than 1,300 children in foster care ages three to 17 in the District.
Summer camp activities include sports, arts/crafts, music and computer
camps, along with local field trips. Caregivers of District children
in foster care can apply by calling CFSA at 202-727-5049. (Foster One
Cool Summer provides a scholarship program to children in foster care
to attend camp at no cost.)
"Foster One Cool Summer is being launched to give children in
foster care an opportunity to experience a fun and active summer,"
said Richard Woods of Capital One. "Capital One wants to make certain
that children in foster care have a chance to learn new skills and
experiences that will help them become self-confident, happy adults."
To assist CFSA in its goal to license more foster care parents and
provide the training they need to support children, Capital One will
also be sponsoring training sessions for foster parents.
Click to Care
DC area residents and visitors can also show their support for
providing more experiences for children in foster care by visiting
www.capitalone.com/fostercare. At this site, individuals can Click to
Care. With every unique visitor's click on the Click to Care button,
Capital One will give a donation to the National Foster Parent
Association (NFPA) (http://www.nfpainc.org/) to support their ongoing
Karen Jorgenson, Executive Director of NFPA said, "Capital One's
program to give children in foster care more enriching experiences
will enhance the work that the foster care community does every day to
give these children better opportunities."
Unique Foster Care Partnerships
To announce the new initiatives, Capital One partnered with
leading foster care advocates to host a panel discussion featuring
former foster care youth. The panel discussed providing children in
foster care with better access to enrichment and self expression
activities, such as summer camp, and the positive impact these
activities have on children.
According to a survey by the American Camp Association, both
parents and children see the benefits of a positive camp experience.
Ninety-six percent of parents agree that "...camp helped (their) child
feel better about him or herself" and 92% of campers say that "...camp
helped me feel better about myself."
"Children in foster care have experienced a great deal of trauma
and instability in their lives. The Foster One Cool Summer program
gives them opportunity to have some fun, develop a stronger sense of
self-worth and to experience the same type of summer that most
children have and all children deserve," noted Shay Bilchik, President
and CEO of the Child Welfare League of America.
In the United States today, more than half a million children are
living in foster care. Presently, more than 280,000 foster parents are
needed to care for these children in need of a loving home. The
District currently has more than 2,700 children living outside their
birth homes and urgently needs District-based individuals and families
to become foster care parents, especially for teens, and short notice
Capital One began to partner with four of the nation's leading
foster care organizations in May 2003. The National Foster Care
Coalition, Casey Family Programs, the Child Welfare League of America
and the National Foster Parent Association teamed up with Capital One
to conduct a test to identify effective ways to motivate the American
public to take action to help children and youth in foster care
succeed. Capital One also partners with Bruce Willis' National Foster
Care Fund (NFCF), the Children's Action Network (CAN) and the Dave
Thomas Foundation for Adoption (DTFA) on a national scholarship
program, Fostering a Future, to benefit youth and children in foster
About Child and Family Services Agency:
The D.C. Child and Family Services Agency is the local public
entity responsible for identifying and protecting child victims of
abuse and neglect. CFSA also helps families overcome difficulties that
place their children at risk. When parents cannot keep children safe
despite help to do so, CFSA finds new families for children through
guardianship or adoption.
About the National Foster Parent Association:
The National Foster Parent Association, a nonprofit, volunteer
organization, is the only national organization that supports foster
parents and remains a consistently strong voice on behalf of all
children. NFPA's mission is to support foster parents in achieving
safety, permanence and well-being for the children and youth in their
About Capital One:
Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Capital One Financial
Corporation (http://www.capitalone.com), a Fortune 500 company, is one
of the largest providers of MasterCard and Visa credit cards in the
world. Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the
symbol "COF" and is included in the S&P 500 index. Capital One is
dedicated to sharing their success with the communities they operate.
Editor's Note: Panel Discussion is being held today, Tuesday, June
7, 2005, at Old Ebbitt Grill, 675 15th St., NW, Washington, D.C.,
Noon-2 p.m. Featured speakers include: former foster care youth
speaking first-hand about their own experiences, Shay Bilchick,
President and CEO of CWLA and Brenda Donald Walker, Director of CFSA.
SOURCE: Capital One Financial Corporation
Diana Don Colby