Foster families needed locally
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 8, 2011
There is a dire need for foster and adoptive families, both in Covington County and statewide, said Cathy Leverington, director of the county department of human resources.
“DHR is embarking on a campaign to recruit more foster/adoptive families because of the urgent need for many more people to come forward and serve these young people,” Lev-erington said.
She said in fiscal year 2009, Alabama DHR finalized 676 adoptions for children in the foster care system. More than 520 additional adoptions were finalized in 2010, she said.
“As great as it is to celebrate these milestones, most of these adoptions were finalized by foster parents with whom the children were already living, leaving us with fewer available foster homes for children who remain in or enter foster care,” she said.
Leverington said there are currently 513,000 American children in foster care because “their own families are in crisis and are unable to provide for their essential needs of safety and well-being.”
“Nearly 6,300 of those children are in Alabama’s foster care system, and there are some right here in Covington County,” she said.
At present, there are three children listed in foster care locally.
“But there are children who are in foster care in other counties and states that are placed in foster homes in our county,” she said. “Those children need homes, too.
“These children require safe, stable and nurturing environments to live in until they can either safely reunite with their parents or establish other lifelong family relationships,” she said.
There are many roles one can play in the child’s life, she said.
“People can help children and youth in foster care build brighter futures by serving as foster parents, relative caregivers, mentors, advocates and volunteers,” she said. “But much more help is needed.
“No matter how much time you have to give, you have the power to do something positive that will change the life of a young person in foster care,” she said. “ We need families to open their hearts and open their homes to children in need.”
There are certain requirements needed to become a foster parent. For more information, visit www.dhr.alabama.gov, by calling 1-866-4AL-KIDS or the county DHR office at 334-427-7900.