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About 300 foster families and children got an early holiday present: a computer.

The gifts came from the County of San Diego and the San Diego County Futures Foundation, which join forces every year to refurbish used computers and give them to foster families in need. The families and children received the computers over two days at the San Diego State University Foundation Building in City Heights.

Since 2001, the Futures Foundation has been refurbishing used County computers as they are replaced and sets them aside for the Computers for Foster Families Program, a program started by Supervisor Greg Cox.

“This is an investment in the future of our foster kids,” Cox said. “Access to technology is critical today for academic success, and we are helping to make sure these kids are connected and have the tools to succeed.”

The computers are “good-as-new” and have basic software installed, as well as a modem for internet access. Each foster parent is responsible for maintenance and internet charges. Computers are distributed to foster parents on a first-come, first-served basis for those who qualify. To qualify, a family must be providing care to a child in foster care who would benefit from having a computer.

This program increases foster youth’s access to educational opportunities and community resources and is part of the County’s Live Well San Diego vision, which aims to improve the quality of life of residents in the region.

There are approximately 2,200 children in out-of-home care in San Diego County. Over 1,300 licensed foster families and relatives provide care for these children.

The San Diego Futures Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 1999 to improve lives in San Diego through technology. The Foundation provides equipment, software, training, services and tech support to San Diego non-profits, small businesses and disadvantaged residents.

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