TROY — Community members who have thought about becoming foster parents, or who have wondered what the process looks like to get licensed for fostering and/or respite care, will have the opportunity to gain insights during panel discussions intended to dispel myths and answer questions.
On Feb. 27, from 6 to 7 p.m., Isaiah’s Place Therapeutic Foster Care and will hold an informal, open panel discussion to talk about foster parenting at the Troy REC Center, 11 N. Market St., Troy.
Additional discussions are planned for March 8 from 6 to 7 p.m. and March 10 from 10 to 11 a.m. in the Champaign County Community Building auditorium, 1512 U.S. 68, Urbana.
The events are open to the community. There will be free child care for children 3 to 10 with reservations. There will be a drawing for a $50 Kroger gift card, and light refreshments will be served.
“Many people are curious about helping with the current foster care crisis, but they are not sure of the licensing process, they think something in their past may disqualify them from becoming foster parents, or they think it’s just not for them,” said Molly Snow, licensing specialist at Isaiah’s Place. “We want to have an open conversation about what these kids need, what the compensation looks like and what it takes to become a foster parent, so they can make an informed decision.”
The need for foster homes has risen significantly in Shelby County since 2015, according to Bob Lybarger, executive director for Isaiah’s Place. While there are many factors that will displace children from their families, Shelby County is seeing the same drastic rise in drug related cases of children entering foster care that faces the nation.
Isaiah’s Place licenses foster homes in 14 counties, including Shelby, Darke, Champaign, Darke, Logan and Miami.
“Our communities need people to step up and help these kids. It’s not their fault that they are in these situations, and they find themselves with no one to trust,” Snow said. “Sometimes it’s as simple as having one adult in their life that genuinely cares about them that can make the difference between a child succeeding or becoming another statistic.”
The format will be informal, and will include an introduction, followed by three professionals in the industry who will briefly discuss the common myths surrounding foster parenting, what it looks like to bring foster children into your home, the compensation for fostering and the licensing process. The program will then turn to questions for the guest panel, so community members will be able to address their questions to the specialists.
Isaiah’s Place, which has received charity accreditation from the Dayton area Better Business Bureau, is a member of the Ohio Association of Child Caring Agencies and the national organization, Family Focus Treatment Association. It is a treatment foster care agency, which means staff will train foster parents to handle children who have been abused, neglected and traumatized. The agency, which opened in 2003, has an onsite training facility and is using a nationally recognized, trauma-informed, evidence-based program to give foster parents the tools and resources to ensure positive outcomes for foster children. Isaiah’s Place has programs to support foster families, such as ongoing training, family events and a program called “We Love Birthday Parties.”
To make a reservation for child care, which must be made by Feb. 26 for the Troy discussion and by March 6 for the Urbana panel meetings, call 937-335-3701.
To learn more about Isaiah’s Place and its programs, visit www.isaiahsplace.com.