DHR plans free foster parenting class beginning in October

Published 11:00 am Monday, September 25, 2023

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

Starting October 2, classes will be held each Monday from 6-9 p.m. at Covington County DHR’s office, 1515 MLK Jr. Expressway, Andalusia, AL. Participants will learn about foster care and how to care for children and youth who have experienced abuse and neglect.

Martha Kelley, foster parent co-lead, along with Lesa Rathel, Director 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.”

South-central Alabama has a great need for more foster parents, Ms. Rathel said. 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,” Rathel said. “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.”

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.

Please contact Lesa Rathel at 334-427-7900 or lesa.rathel@dhr.alabama.gov for more information.