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The holidays are a time when we take inventory of all the things we’re grateful for: a steady job, overcoming illness or injury, being surrounded by loved ones. There’s a stark difference between that list and that of those in less fortunate circumstances, like kids living in foster care in Marin. The Marin County Health and Human Services (HHS) is suffering a shortage of foster homes, so children are being placed with families outside the county — further reducing their chances for a physically and emotionally stable life. “It is important to note that the children are not in the system due to any fault of their own,” says Cindy Wasserman, a child welfare social worker for Marin County Health and Human Services. Children placed in foster homes can “blossom and grow in a stable foster home environment,” she adds. To meet this increasing need, the agency is holding orientations for prospective families every month at the Marin Health and Wellness Campus in San Rafael. Attendees learn about the application process and training and support services. Foster parents provide temporary homes to boys and girls of all ages, typically for six to 12 months; prospective parents can be any adult age, of any sexual orientation, single or part of a couple, married or not.