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Foster parents honored at park picnic

By Staff
DSS still seeking homes for siblings
By CHRISTINA HALE
Staff Writer
Foster parents were honored Monday during an appreciation picnic at Havens Gardens in Washington.
There are 15 licensed foster parents in Beaufort County and 63 children currently in the custody of DSS. Most of the foster children are moved out of the county, Keech said. A third of the children are between the ages of 13 and 18.
Keech said being a foster parent is challenging. So every year money is raised to give them a special night of thanks.
This year over $500 was raised. Parents and children attended a picnic catered by the Old Town Country Kitchen in Bath and enjoyed the live music of Men ‘N A Chord.
As part of a craft activity, children planted a flower seed to give to their parents. The phrase, “Everything grows with a little love” was placed inside the flower pots.
All of the children and parents at the appreciation picnic received prizes. Jim Harriett, the director of DSS, presented all parents with a certificate of thanks.
Phil Newberry and his wife, Lina, opened their home to four siblings two years ago. At the picnic, they watched as Nick, 2, Hailee, 8, Fallon 9, and Micheal, 11, each planted a flower.
The Newberrys are hoping to adopt the children. An adoption committee must decide the best home for the children.
Keech said the parents still have legal custody, but a petition to terminate is currently in the court system. “The plan is adoption,” Keech said.
Foster parents who can take in siblings are rare, and the ones that do are at full capacity, Keech said. Therefore many live miles away, but “we’re trying to bring them back home,” she said.