Chilton County DHR seeks foster parentsBy Emily Etheredge Published 3:54pm Tuesday, July 9, 2013
The Chilton County Department of Human Resources (DHR) is seeking people who would be willing to open their homes to foster a child living in the county.
With a slogan, “open their hearts and open their homes,” DHR encourages those that might be interested in fostering a child to consider one of the 110 foster children living in Chilton County.
Trayce Cain, the new licensing worker at DHR, said there are 28 licensed foster homes in the county at this time.
“This is a lower number of homes available than usual,” Cain said in a release. “Eight foster children have already been adopted this fiscal year by their foster families. There were also 14 foster children adopted by foster parents in fiscal year 2012. These families most often drop out of fostering after their families are complete with adoption.”
DHR director Marilyn Colson said the number of foster children living in Chilton County is constantly changing due to some of the children returning to their homes after their families resolve safety threats within the homes.
“Others are provided long-term homes by relatives and then a number of children are adopted either by their foster families or through state adoptions,” Colson said in a release. “It is heartwarming to see how the foster parents of Chilton County have provided homes to so many foster children through adoption or long-term fostering. The foster children adopted range from infants to teens.”
DHR is constantly looking to enlarge the pool of available foster homes due to wanting good matches to be made between children who need care and the foster homes available.
DHR program supervisor Cathy Stephens explained that good matches could involve the age of the child, a child’s special needs or what school the child has been attending.
“Many foster parents never choose to adopt but make their homes available for the children who will be able to return to their own or relatives’ homes,” Colson said in a release. “I don’t think there can be a greater mission than to agree to foster children.”
Potential foster and adoptive parents must complete preparation classes once a week in the evening for a 10-week span. Criminal histories and home studies are also required to ensure compliance with the minimum standards for foster homes.
The next preparation class will begin on Aug. 13 at 6 p.m. at the DHR office on Airport Road. An orientation class will be held on July 30 at 6 p.m.
Applications to become a foster and adoptive parent can be obtained at the DHR office or by calling Cain at 280-2025.