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May is Foster Parent Appreciation Month: Local Foster Parents Are Essential and Buncombe County Needs More of Them


May Is Foster Parent Appreciation Month

Thinking about Fostering? The next round of Foster Parent training courses starts July 12.  Sign up here.

With over 340 young people in foster and extended foster care, our kids need you now- more than ever. Fostering is one of the most impactful ways that you can help children right here in Buncombe County. When children are fostered in a home that is close to their school, friends, church, medical appointments, and communities, they remain connected to their communities and close to their biological families. August, a foster parent in Buncombe County, says, “The goal of foster parenting is not adopting, it is reunification. Communication and a strong relationship between foster and biological parents is extremely important when trying to reunify a family.” Reunification is often the best outcome for the child and to reach this goal, we need foster parents at home- in Buncombe County.

 

Amy Huntsman, Foster Care Supervisor for Buncombe County Health and Human Services, has seen the positive impact local foster parents have on the kids they foster. “In the last year, over 50 children were reunited with their biological families or relatives which supports healthy child development and attachment styles. This was possible thanks to the unconditional support of foster families in Buncombe.” Amy continues, “But there are still over 100 kids who are housed outside Buncombe County due to the lack of local foster parents.” To ensure the best outcomes for these kids, their families, and our community, we need to bring these kids back to Buncombe.

We know that becoming a foster parent is a big commitment and requires a lot of preparation and support. Many foster parents start out as Respite Foster Parents before becoming full-time foster parents. Respite foster parents offer full-time foster parents a break during vacations, medical procedures, and other obligations that require they be kid-free for a short time. Respite foster parents are required to be licensed and meet all of the requirements for fostering in North Carolina. Huntsman emphasized the need for these foster care providers, saying, “Having all of these supports working together creates a more sustainable foster parenting program where everyone works as a team to care for children who are in foster care, through no fault of their own. Outcomes are better, burnout is lower, and resilience is increased through this network of foster parents.”  

The Foster Parent Training Classes offer a realistic picture of fostering in a supportive and honest way. Once a person is a licensed foster parent, our staff provides coordination of case information, appointments, holiday gifts, school-related needs, and supplies to ensure that the child is thriving and that foster parents are off to a good start. These classes currently happen virtually and are offered in 6-week courses, the next beginning July 12, 2021. Sign up for the training here.

For more information, visit www.buncombecounty.org/foster or call (828) 250-5868. We can be reached by email at: familiesforkids@buncombecounty.org.

 

Article Information

Updated May 21, 2021 04:43 PM
Published May 10, 2021 12:25 PM

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