Sampson County currently has almost 100 children who are a part of the foster care system. Officials with the Sampson County Social Services Department are working to provide interested families with information they need to become a foster parent.
According to Lynn Fields, social work program manager, the local agency is hosting a foster/adoption awareness event Saturday from 2-4 p.m. at the Sampson County Agri-Exposition Center. The purpose of this event is to identify families in Sampson County that could be potential foster or adoptive parents to the children that come into the custody of the agency due to abuse, neglect or dependency.
Saturday’s event came about, Fields said, as the department was planning for Adoption Awareness Month in November.
“We were planning for an Adoption Appreciation Banquet for the children and families that have completed adoptions between July 2016 and November 2016,” Fields said. “While brainstorming around this event, we decided November would also be an ideal month to plan an event to educate and recruit potential adoptive/foster parents.”
According to Fields, interested individuals can become foster adoptive parents by contacting the local agency. All adults in the prospective home would have to participate in a 30 hour class. The foster home licensing worker would make several visits to the home to work with the family to complete assessments as well and work with the family to complete all of the state mandated requirements.
“At the event, we will have several booths set up to explain the foster and adoptive process,” Fields said. “We will talk about why children come into foster care and what it takes to be a foster and/or adoptive parent. We will also have pictures of children that are currently in our custody that have a plan of adoption, but are not currently in an adoptive placement. We will have literature to pass out related to the adoption process.”
Sampson County is home to 93 children in the foster care system. All of those children, Fields added, are in a relative or foster placement. Of those that are in foster homes, many are placed outside of Sampson County because there are not enough licensed family foster homes in Sampson County. Of the 93 children in care, 30 have a plan of adoption, and of the 30 with a plan of adoption there are eight children that are currently free for adoption, that are not in an adoptive placement.
For more information about Saturday’s event, contact Fields, Tracey Odom or Dene Johnston at 910-592-7131. The first 100 families to participate will receive an 8X10 family photo and Thanksgiving dinner.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.