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Four families graduate from foster parent classes

ROCKWELL — Four families graduated from Nazareth Child & Family Connection’s spring foster parenting classes last week, completing the 10-week program that is the first step to gaining certification to become foster parents.

With completion of the classes, the group is a couple of steps away from becoming eligible to foster children and perhaps eventually adopt through Nazareth’s foster-to-adopt program. They will soon have final consultations with Nazareth foster care and adoption specialists before their applications are sent to the state for approval.

The classes are designed to inform participants about the child welfare system and the role of foster parents and to help people develop the skills to become a successful foster or adoptive parent. The classes also focused on understanding trauma and how to better serve families who have experienced trauma.

The need for foster and adoptive parents is overwhelming. 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 more than 11,000 children.

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

Founded in 1906, Nazareth Child & Family Connection providesg a safe and nurturing environment for every child, individual and family. In addition to residential services for children and the foster care program, Nazareth has outpatient facilities in Salisbury, Lexington and Albemarle serving individuals with mental health, substance abuse, developmental disabilities and behavioral health needs.

For information about giving or volunteering at Nazareth, contact Blair Wilson, director of development, at 704-279-5556, Ext. 113, or by emailing btrexler@nazcfc.org.

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