To the editor
May is National Foster Care Awareness Month. It is a time to highlight the importance of foster care, and acknowledge foster parents, family members, child welfare professionals and members of the community working together to ensure children and teens, who have experienced abuse and neglect, have the support they need to thrive. Here in Person County, we are marking the month by hosting a dinner to honor our foster families and the many things they do for our children.
All children are resilient. Even when they’ve experienced adverse childhood experiences such as abuse or neglect, they can overcome and reach their full potential with help and support from a dedicated foster parent. Foster families provide a safe, temporary home for kids whose parents need time to learn new skills and address safety concerns.
According to Person County DSS, there are currently 96 children and teens in out-of-home placement. Unfortunately, North Carolina is experiencing a shortage of foster parents. We need foster parents in every community, especially parents who are willing to care for children with complex behavioral and mental health needs, sibling groups and teens.
Everyone can get involved, and you don’t have to be perfect to be a perfect parent. You must be at least 21 years old and ready to make a difference in a child’s or teen’s life at a time when they need you the most. You can be single or married. You must be financially stable, and must pass all background checks, including fingerprinting.
Today, I ask you to consider how you can make a difference in the life of a child or family in your community. Take the first step by calling Person County DSS at 336-599-8361, to obtain more information about the upcoming training program, which begins on Thursday, June 20, 2019.
Editor’s note: The writer is a licensing coordinator with the Person County Department of Social Services.