Have you ever thought of opening your home to a foster child? Do you have what it takes to provide a safe, loving environment for a child in need? Shelby County Job and Family Services is looking for people who are interested in becoming foster parents for our children in Shelby County. The need for Foster Parents continues to rise as many parents in our community struggle with such challenges as mental health and addiction.
Foster Parents are a critical element in today’s Child Welfare System, which includes Shelby County Department of Job and Family Services, Children Services Division. Foster Parents provide a safe place for children and youth to live after experiencing abuse, abandonment, or neglect. Recently, the state of Ohio has been experiencing a chronic shortage of Foster Parents, and Shelby County Children Services has been feeling the stress of this Foster Parent shortage and its effect on the safety and well-being of the children and youth in our community. While there continues to be a need for Foster Parents for the safe placement of children of all ages, recruiting Foster Homes for youth, ages 11-17 is becoming increasingly important.
What does it take to become a foster parent? The child welfare agency is allotted 180 days to complete the initial home study, starting the day the agency receives the initial application. You do not need to be married, own your home, earn a high income, or have previous parenting experience. You are required to be at least 18 years of age. You must complete 36 hours of pre-service training, extensive interviews with a caseworker, and follow through with other required background checks prior to obtaining a license.
Anyone interested in learning more about what it takes to become a Foster Parent and provide a safe and loving home for our youth and children in Shelby County, please call 937-498-4981. If you don’t call, you will never know if Foster Parenting is right for you!
The writer is a children services administrator with Shelby County Job and Family Services.