With foster homes full, DHR seeks volunteers

Published 1:34 am Friday, August 3, 2018

With approximately 65 children in foster care in Covington County and only 30 approved foster homes, the Department of Human Resource’s Resource and Adult Service Supervisor Natalie Pinson said that there is a dire need for foster parents.

With this need, DHR will begin Trauma Informed Partnering for Safety training.

TIPS training is a 10-week program designed to prepare foster parents before they care for children in their home.

“Participants in the classes will learn how to help children express and meet their needs, maintain and build connections, understand separation and loss and help understand their loss and grief,” Pinson said.

Pinson said that DHR has sent out 20 applications to people who have inquired about becoming a foster parent.

“We won’t really know how many people will come to the classes until they are here,” Pinson said. “But we have sent applications to people that have inquired about becoming a foster parent.”

While some people may be turned away by the amount of paperwork included in becoming a foster parent, Pinson said that is one of the benefits of this training.

“A lot of people are turned off by the amount of paperwork they have to do,” Pinson said. “They have to have a criminal background check, medical tests to see if they are healthy enough to raise a child, they have to fill out a financial form to see if they can handle raising a child financially and they have to go through child abuse and neglect clearances. Thankfully, all of this can be done during the training so we can get it out of the way.”

Pinson said that it is not an easy decision to become a foster parent, but anybody that feels a need to protect children should consider it.

“All of our current foster parents have such different personalities,” Pinson said. “But one thing that connects them, is the care about safety and the well being of their children. People who think about protecting children, that is ultimately who we want.”

Pinson said that the need for foster parents in Covington County is increasing because there are not any open homes for children.

“We are struggling right now to find open housing for multiple siblings and older children,” Pinson said. “Just in the last 30 days we have had to place 15 children in foster homes. This is a very big need in Covington County.”

Pinson said that DHR is interested in speaking to organizations, churches and other groups about the need for foster parents.

For anyone interested in joining the TIPS training, it will be Aug., 20, at 6 p.m., at the Covington County DHR. It will be free to join.

For anyone interested in getting more information, contact Pinson at 334-427-7933.