With nearly 100 children in the foster care system in Sampson County, Department of Social Service employees wanted to do something that would get the information about adoption and foster care out to those interested in becoming a part of a child’s life.
The local agency hosted a foster/adoption awareness event last month, and according to Lynn Fields, social work program manager, had a good turnout with approximately 50 people attending and showing interest in becoming a foster/adoptive parent.
The purpose of the event was 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. Fields said she and her coworkers were able to do what they set out to accomplish.
“We were able to identify approximately 10 different families that may interested in becoming licensed foster parents,” Fields said. “Our licensing social worker will reach out to these families and share more detailed information with them about the licensing process and hopefully we can get these families in one of our classes in January 2017.”
The awareness event provided potential foster care parents with valuable information that can help them determine if they are truly interested in making a difference.
“They were able to learn about foster care and why children come into care,” Field said. “We talked to the families about the requirements to become a licensed foster parent and the process. Social workers shared available resources for families and children in foster care, we also talked about the foster to adopt process. We provided pamphlets and information regarding the licensing and adoption process that families could take with them regarding becoming a foster or adoptive parent. The Guardian Ad Litem program was also present to discuss the supportive role they play in the fostering process.”
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.
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 foster care, contact Fields, Tracey Odom or Dene Johnston at 910-592-7131.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.