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DHR to hold meeting for potential foster, adoptive parents

Published 3:29pm Thursday, September 13, 2012

Chilton County has an ongoing need for more foster and adoptive parents to provide children with good homes, both temporary and permanent.

The Chilton County Department of Human Resources holds preparatory classes twice a year for foster and adoptive parents and will begin the next 10-week set of classes Oct. 4.

DHR will hold an orientation meeting Thursday, Sept. 20 for those interested in completing the classes and becoming foster and adoptive parents.

The meeting will be from 6–7 p.m. at the DHR office on Airport Road in Clanton.

Chilton County currently has more than 100 children of all ages in foster care and 30 licensed foster homes.

DHR is looking for additional foster and adoptive homes to meet the needs of the children.

According to Marilyn Colson, DHR director, some of the children in foster care eventually will be reunited with their parents or other relatives.

Colson said returning foster children to their biological families is always the first goal after interventions are made to control risk factors of the parents.

Risk factors include neglect and drug use, which Colson described as the county’s “big problem right now.”

Intervention could include drug assessment, drug treatment and counseling.

When returning children to their families is not safely possible, some foster families may choose to adopt the children.

In the last three years, 45 children from Chilton County have been adopted by their foster parents.

DHR is also constantly looking to enlarge the pool of available foster homes.

“The more we have, the better it is to match children and families,” Colson said. “We wouldn’t have a top-out goal at all.”

Christy Haigler, licensing worker with DHR, said a good match between children and foster homes could involve the age of the child, a child’s special needs or what school the child has been attending.

Although the orientation meeting is not required, prospective foster and adoptive parents must complete preparation classes once a week for 10 weeks in order to be eligible. Each class is three hours.

Criminal histories and home studies are required in compliance with the minimum standards for foster homes.

Applications are available at the DHR office or by calling Haigler at (205) 280-2060.

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