DHR to host free foster parent training course starting March 6

Published 7:30 am Monday, February 13, 2023

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The Covington County Department of Human Resources (DHR) will host a free 10-week course beginning in March for residents interested in becoming foster parents.

Classes will be held each Monday evening from 6 to 9 p.m. at Covington County DHR’s office in Andalusia starting March 6. Participants will learn about foster care and how to care for children and youth who have experienced abuse and neglect. 

Charles Willis, foster parent co-lead, along with Annie Chambers of Covington County DHR, will teach the course.

“This training gives prospective foster parents a firm foundation as they prepare to provide love and support to children and youth in foster care,” said Covington County DHR Director Lesa Rathel. “We are so thankful to the members of this community who graciously open their hearts and their homes to serve our children in this capacity.”

According to Rathel, south-central Alabama has a great need for more foster parents. Covington County has approximately 50 children and youth in foster care. 

“Our goal is to keep foster children close to home so they do not lose the valuable support of family, friends and teachers they know and trust. We encourage those interested in foster care to attend our class and join our other foster families in the region to help make this goal possible,” Rathel said.

The free training is open to anyone interested in becoming a foster parent who meets these requirements:

  • At least 19 years of age.
  • The ability to provide a safe, comfortable atmosphere for a child.
  • A home that conforms to the Alabama Minimum Standards for Foster Family Homes.
  • A home that has enough space for a child and his or her belongings.
  • All adults in the home are willing to undergo a thorough background check, including a criminal history check.

For more information email Lesa Rathel at lesa.rathel@dhr.alabama.gov or call 334-427-7900.