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Local DHR in need of more foster homes

Published 8:55am Tuesday, September 24, 2013

There are many children locally who are in need of foster care, but officials have said the demand for qualified foster parents has exceeded the actual number of people who are willing to fulfill that role.

According to the Department of Human Resources, there are approximately 513,000 children in foster care in America, and over 5,000 of these children are in Alabama’s foster care system.

To bring that number even closer to home, there are approximately 70 children in foster care in Franklin County but there aren’t always people who are willing to take in these children who have no other place to go.

“Since we do not have enough foster homes here in the county, some of these children are placed in other counties, some of which are counties that are not close by,” said Stephanie Pinkard, a service social worker for Franklin County DHR.

“Whatever these children have gone through that has made it necessary for them to enter into foster care has been hard enough on them without them having to be sent to a county far away from what’s familiar to them.

“These children need stable, loving care until they can either safely reunite with their families or establish other lifelong relationships with a nurturing adult through avenues such as adoption, for instance.”

Pinkard said reliable people in Franklin County who are willing to become foster parents and provide that stable, loving environment are something the system desperately needs at this time.

“No matter how much time you have to give, you have the power to do something positive that will change the life of a young person in foster care by opening your heart and your home to a child in need,” Pinkard said.

Pinkard said the Franklin County DHR will be offering their next foster parent training class starting Monday, Oct. 7, at 6 p.m. at the Franklin County Department of Human Resources office. This is a 10-week process with classes being held on Mondays from 6-9 p.m.

For more information about becoming a foster parent or for questions regarding the training classes, please call 256-331-5938.

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