FOSTER — In Boone County, the only problem with good foster parents is that there aren’t enough of them to go around.
On Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015, the Boone County Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) hosted an adoption and foster care awareness event at the Fountain of Life Worship Center in Foster.
“We are trying to recruit more foster parents in Boone County,” said Patty Ferrell, Child Protective Services Supervisor in Boone County. “There’s really only two things you need, and that is a home and love. If you have those two things, you can be a great foster parent.”
On any given day in the United States there are over 400,000 children living in foster care.
“We have a shortage of foster parents in Boone, Lincoln and Kanawha counties,” said Shannon McKay, Community Service Manager for both Boone and Lincoln DHHRs. “We are hoping to raise awareness and encourage people to become a foster parent.”
McKay says there are children of all ages needing foster families.
“We have teens and all ages, not just babies,”she said. “Our goal is to keep children in their local communities.”
Each year, several children in Boone County are removed from their biological homes after designated by the state and courts to be in need of care.
Most children in the state’s foster care system have been abused or neglected. Some have major developmental, physical and emotional needs. The time a child remains in out-of-home placement could be months or years.
McKay said if more Boone County residents don’t step up to be foster parents, “we get kids who don’t have a loving home. Period.”
McKay said foster care parents receive compensation that includes financial support, training and other help.
“We can answer and questions or concerns anyone would have about becoming a foster parent,” she said.
McKay said the event was an opportunity to increase awareness of the need for additional foster parents.
“When a child is removed from a home, a biological home, which is one of the most traumatic things that can happen in a family and to a child, it is so important for there to be loving arms to receive that child,” she said.
The event featured several booths of agencies that work with foster care and foster care families and children as well as guest speakers, games and rides for children at the event.
For more information about foster care in West Virginia visit the online website at http://www.wvdhhr.org/bcf/children_adult/foster/inquire.asp
Fred Pace is an editor for Civitas Media. He can be reached at 304-369-1165, ext. 1661, in Madison; at 304-752-6950, ext. 1729 in Logan; by email at email@example.com or @fcpace62 on Twitter.