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Nazareth Child & Family Connection offering foster parenting classes

SALISBURY – A child without a home is difficult for most to imagine, but it is a daily prospect for many in North Carolina.

For almost a decade, the number of children in foster care in North Carolina has grown while the number of licensed foster homes has gradually declined. The result has been the placement of children out of state, away from family and other support systems.

To help combat that problem, Nazareth Child & Family Connection is offering foster parenting classes beginning March 6 and running for 10 consecutive weeks at Nazareth’s offices at 165 Mahaley Ave. in Salisbury.

There is an information session for the classes on Feb. 6, also at the Mahaley Ave. office, from 6 to 8 p.m. Anyone interested in attending the information session can sign up here: https://bit.ly/2zPA0Te or by calling 704.279.5556.

The classes are designed to inform participants about the child welfare system, the role of foster parents and to help individuals develop the skills to become a successful foster/adoptive parent. The classes also focus on understanding trauma and how to better serve families who have experienced trauma. Individuals who complete the classes and the licensing process become licensed North Carolina foster parents. They could also potentially adopt a child through the foster-care program.

“There is a constant need for foster parents in our region,” said Vernon Walters, president and CEO of Nazareth. “Foster parenting is hard work, but it’s rewarding; it’s an amazing act of love and caring.”

In July 2017 there were 11,204 children in foster care in North Carolina, up from 9,167 in 2010. The number of children in need has outgrown the number of homes available. In 2017 there were fewer than 7,000 homes to serve over 11,000 children.

Each year in North Carolina, almost 12,000 children and teens are placed in residential homes awaiting foster parents.

Nazareth offers an array of services, including family foster care, adoptions, transitional living services for young adults, level two therapeutic residential, individual and group outpatient therapy, psychiatric services and outpatient substance abuse therapy in Rowan, Davidson and Stanly counties. If you would like more information about giving or volunteering at Nazareth, please contact Blair Trexler, director of development, at 704.279.5556 ext. 113 or by emailing btrexler@nazcfc.org.

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