Archived Story

Consider foster care

Published 7:10pm Tuesday, July 8, 2014

 

GIFT GIVING: Last year, during the BCDSS Shop with a Safety Officer event, underprivileged children were chosen to shop with Washington Police Officers. The children, some of whom were under the care of foster parents, received $120 each to shop for clothes, toys and even food.
GIFT GIVING: Last year, during the BCDSS Shop with a Safety Officer event, underprivileged children were chosen to shop with Washington Police Officers. The children, some of whom were under the care of foster parents, received $120 each to shop for clothes, toys and even food.

The Beaufort County Department of Social Services Foster and Adoptions Unit wants residents to consider becoming license in foster care.

Forty-nine percent of Beaufort County children in foster care are placed outside of the county. This means the children are not only being ripped from their families, but they are also being ripped from their environment. That environment could include teachers, friends and ultimately their comfort zones.

Children, whether placed in foster care by voluntary or involuntary circumstances, need support from someone, if not from family. A lot of times there are no family members available or willing to assume responsibility of the child. In those circumstances, a licensed foster home is needed. This is where Beaufort County residents could step up and help take care of its children.

Many times, a child needs to be placed in foster care temporarily. This period of time is used to give birth parents the opportunity to work with DSS to set and meet goals that enable them to take back responsibility of their child. During that period of time, a child placed in foster care needs a strong support system at home even when that support system is not actually at their home.

Those interested in foster care can play an essential role in the process of working with birth parents that are trying to get themselves straight and ready to take care of their child. Foster parents work closely with DSS and the birth parents to aid in raising the child until goals are met. This role can play a big part in helping a family stick together in the long run.

The BCDSS offers MAPP classes so those interested or maybe even pondering the thought of fostering, can get an idea of whether fostering is right for them. The classes prepare foster parents for how a child, who has been placed in foster care, may react to the situation. It also teaches potential candidates for fostering how to identify behaviors and attachments a child may have, making it easier to talk to the child and relate to how they may feel.

Traditionally, the classes are offered on Tuesday nights from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. However, the DSS is currently trying to set up classes in the fall and spring that are more flexible, thus more convenient for residents to attend.

The main requirements for signing up are being over the age of 21, having at least a high school diploma and having a stable income, housing and transportation. Getting involved and becoming licensed in foster care could change a child’s life. It could even change the foster parent’s life.

To get more information, please call BCDSS Foster Home Licensing Social Worker Shirley Williams or email at shirley.williams@beaufortdss.com.

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