• 70°

My Turn, Shawn Squirewell: No greater gift than to sponsor a child

Writer

Shawn Squirewell is the director of foster care services at Nazareth Child & Family Connection.

By Shawn Squirewell

Special to the Salisbury Post

It is the holiday season, the season of giving.

But sometimes giving can be so darned difficult. We complain constantly this time of the year about how difficult it is to find the perfect gift for someone who has everything.

But what about the child who has very little, not even parents or a home? That feeling of emptiness cannot be overcome, not by all the sparkly lights and colorful bows and ribbons in the world.

But wait, there is a “perfect” gift for these children: foster parents. At Nazareth Child & Family Connection, we don’t believe there could be a greater gift this time of the year, or any time of the year, than serving as a foster parent.

Sure, it takes some training, some hard work and a big heart, but it is an amazing gift, truly a gift that will keep on giving … forever.

Consider this: In any given year, roughly 12,000 children and teens are placed in residential facilities in North Carolina awaiting a foster family.

Nazareth Child & Family Connection typically has around 50 youngsters in its residential program. We average 10 to 12 children in foster care, with a constant demand for more foster parents.

The Adoption and Family Foster Care programs at Nazareth Child & Family Connection are designed to find adoptive or foster homes for legally free and at-risk children, who over a period of time have been unable to return to live with their birth parents or with other family members.

When someone comes forward with interest in becoming a foster parent, Nazareth can lead them through the process, from classes and training and assistance through paperwork and state applications. They can also help with the Fostering to Adopt process, which helps foster parents adopt when a child becomes “legally free” from custody of the state. A new training session begins this spring.

There is always a special need to find foster families for teens and sibling groups. Younger children are easily adoptable, but it is difficult to find foster families for teens and groups of siblings

As rewarding as foster parenting can be, there is no denying it is hard work and difficult at times. Let’s face it: parenting, regardless of the family makeup, is work. It’s stressful, time-consuming and emotional.

But parenting is also the greatest show of love there is. It is love given and love received, the type of love and care that comes only from family. Foster parenting offers up an amazing reward to those who open their homes and lives and share them with a child who needs it so desperately. It is truly one of the greatest gifts that can be given.

Anyone interesting in foster parenting should call Nazareth Child & Family Connection at 704.279.5556.

Shawn Squirewell is the director of Foster Care Services at Nazareth Child & Family Connection. A native of Maryland, she moved to North Carolina in 2000 to attend Catawba College. She lives in Salisbury with her husband and two children.

Comments

Local

Thousands of locals, out-of-towners gather for a groovy time at annual Hippie Fest

News

N.C. Zoo ready for expansion if lawmakers OK funding

Education

RSS budgeting for tens of millions in federal COVID-19 relief funding

East Spencer

‘Back in full swing’ for the spring: East Spencer community gathers for food, fun and fellowship at Spring Fest

Local

Rowan native Lingle among those honored with NC Military Veterans Hall of Fame induction

Business

Former pro baseball player, Tar Heel standout Russ Adams finds new career with Trident Insured

Education

Profoundly gifted: Salisbury boy finishing high school, associates degree at 12

Local

Cheerwine Festival will stick to Main Street, stay away from new park in September

Lifestyle

Celebrating Rowan County’s early cabinetmakers

Education

Service Above Self announces youth challenge winners

Business

Economic Development Commission creates search tool for people seeking Rowan County jobs

Columns

Amy-Lynn Albertson: Arts and Ag Farm Tour set for June 5

High School

High school baseball: Mustangs top Falcons on strength of hurlers

Business

Biz Roundup: Application process now open for Rowan Chamber’s 29th Leadership Rowan class

Sports

Keith Mitchell leads McIlroy, Woodland by 2 at Quail Hollow

Nation/World

States scale back vaccine orders as interest in shots wanes

Nation/World

Major US pipeline halts operations after ransomware attack

News

NC budget dance slowed as GOP leaders differ on bottom line

News

Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting

Coronavirus

People receiving first dose of COVID-19 vaccine grows by less than 1%

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools brings Skills Rowan competition back to its roots

Business

Weak jobs report spurs questions about big fed spending

News

Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting in Elizabeth City

Sports

Woodland, two others share lead; Mickelson plays much worse but will still be around for weekend at Quail Hollow