If you yearn to make a difference in the lives of children The Children’s Home could be looking for you.
The Children’s Home of Winston-Salem is recruiting adults to train and supervise as foster parents. The number of foster parents in the North Carolina foster care system has fallen from 2000 to 1,200 in the past eight years, while the need has increased.
Initial training class started Monday, Sept. 21 and meets in the Wrenn Building on campus 6-9 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays through Nov. 19. Contact Adam Gamache at (336) 721-7657.
“This training was invaluable to us in making the decision to open our home to kids who needed fostering,” said foster dad Brian Leimone. “While Sarah and I wanted to adopt, we wanted to solely focus on foster care first because there is a great need for both.”
The Children’s Home coordinates almost 40 foster care families. More are needed. During just one day in August TCH had to turn down requests to place four children under four years old in foster homes because TCH families were full.
Leimone said anyone considering fostering should jump in and ask questions. To anyone who says, “I could never do what you do” he asks, “Why not?”
“If you have any interest,” he said, “don’t let fear get in the way.”
“We are a community based service, seeking to place children who must be removed from their homes and place them in a safe, nurturing family type setting,” said TCH Foster Care Manager, Sandra Sauer.
Sauer said adults who are at least 21 with stable income and positive home setting are eligible. Foster parents receive a stipend to help support the child in their care that varies with the age and need of the child.
“It has literally been the hardest thing we have ever embarked upon both individually and as a family,” said Leimone. “Despite the challenges, our time as foster and adoptive parents is the single most rewarding thing about our life. When you look back and weeks turn into months, and months into years – you can see how consistency is changing these kids for a life time. And not only are the kids’ lives being changed, but ours as well.”
TCH is a licensing agency. TCH recruits, assesses, recommends and trains and supervises foster parents. TCH provides other tangible benefits to foster families such as assistance with clothing and school supplies for the youth in their care as well as a monthly support group for foster parents.
The need is great enough that TCH could utilize twice the number of foster families it currently has, especially in Stokes, Surry, Davidson and Davie counties as well as the Greensboro area.
TCH is also an adoption agency and in North Carolina’s through the foster care system. The plan and hope for most children who come into foster care is reunification with their biological families. Unfortunately, there are a great number of children who are not able to be returned home. Foster to adopt is a great way to provide a forever home for a child in need.
Follow the TCH foster care program at Facebook.com/fosterandadoptkids