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May is National Foster Care Month

By Jon Hunter
For the Salisbury Post
Children in Rowan County deserve a safe and happy life, including the 131 Rowan County children and teenagers in foster care. Rowan County Department of Social Services is joining with public and private agencies across the nation to observe National Foster Care Month in May. May 2012 marks the 24th annual awareness campaign on behalf of American’s children and teenagers in foster care.
Rowan County Department of Social Services’ foster parents provide loving, compassionate, safe and secure temporary homes to Rowan County foster children. Thanks to these unsung heroes, many formerly abused and neglected Rowan County children will either safely reunite with birth parents, be cared for by relatives, or be adopted by loving families. Thank you Rowan County DSS foster parents for opening your home, giving your time, and sharing your love with our children. We salute you.
Foster Care affects hundreds of Rowan County children and families. Children and teenagers are placed in foster care when their parents or guardians are no longer able to ensure their safety and wellbeing. Children in foster care range from birth through twenty-one years of age. All races, cultures and ethnicities are served by the foster care program.
Foster parents make a commitment to help a child through a difficult time. They provide temporary care to meet the basic needs of life including food, shelter, clothing, medical and dental needs. While in foster care, children and teenagers can expect to receive positive encouragement and direction. Foster parents work in partnership as a team with social workers, birth families, relatives, teachers, medical and mental health providers to prepare the child to return home.
Prospective foster parents must be at least 21 years old, have a stable home and income, and be willing to be fingerprinted and have a criminal background check. Foster parents can be single or married, live in rental housing or buying their own home. Everyone in the household must have a basic physical. Adults must have a TB test. A fire safety check of the home will have to be completed by the local fire marshal’s office. Day Care services are provided to foster parents who work.
Prospective foster parents will be invited to attend an informational session, complete program applications, and attend thirty hours of free required training. The training, Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting, is provided in evening classes over ten weeks at DSS by the staff
If you have a dream and desire to provide temporary care to a Rowan County child or teenager please telephone or email Jon Hunter, the Rowan County Department of Social Services Placement Support Coordinator at 704-216-7914 or jon.hunter@ rowancountync.gov. When you make the contact, please give your first and last name, mailing address and telephone number in order to receive a free informational packet.
You can make a difference in a child’s life. Take the first step toward having a lasting impact on a Rowan County child’s life.
Jon Hunter
Rowan County Department of Social Services
Placement Support Coordinator

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