Dearborn, Ohio Department of Child Services Celebrates Foster Care Month
Press release from Indiana Department of Child Services
(Undated) – May marks a special time of the year to raise awareness about the needs of the more than 4,900 Indiana youth in non-relative foster homes. Caring foster parents open their homes to temporarily care for and embrace these children. They value the foster child’s family connections and provide a safe environment until the child can return home, be adopted or live independently. May is National Foster Care Month and the Dearborn and Ohio County offices of the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) are taking time to thank these families who provide homes and love to the 31 abused or neglected children in Dearborn and Ohio County that need them.
“People who become foster parents have chosen to make a difference for a foster child. Foster parents not only connect children to their community and impact young lives forever but they also offer hope for a successful future,” said Sandra Ante. “Please take time this month to thank these wonderful families who provide homes and love to children who need them.”
When a child cannot safely stay at home, relatives or other appropriate caretakers known to the children are contacted before seeking foster families to care for them. Searching for families, however, who will open their hearts and homes to children in need is always a priority.
“There are many families who have stepped up to be foster families, but there is always a need for more,” said Michelle Smith. “National Foster Care Month is a perfect time to raise awareness of the need for foster families and actively recruit, particularly for families interested in older children and larger sibling groups.”
To help with foster family recruitment efforts, DCS recently completed a new 30-second foster parent recruitment video, Choose to be the Difference. The video features current and former foster parents and children from around the state encouraging others to sign up to be foster parents. You can view the video by clicking here.
Each May, National Foster Care Month provides an opportunity for all Hoosiers to focus attention on the year-round needs of children and youth in foster care. Below are five easy ways community members can get involved:
- Be a foster parent – Make a real and lasting difference by temporarily sharing your home, time, energy and love with a child in need.
- Honor a foster parent – Attend or organize a foster care month event such as a dinner, coffee gathering, picnic, auction, etc. to raise awareness and express appreciation for foster parents.
- Be a volunteer child advocate – Court appointed special advocate (CASA) volunteers are trained citizens appointed by judges to represent the best interests of abused and neglected children in court. Contact Katrina McIntosh, 812-537-8741.
- Mentor a youth – Mentors make a difference. Research shows that children and youth with mentors earn higher grades and report improved relationships with their friends and families.
- Hire a young person – Help a youth in foster care explore career options and find a job.
Caring Indiana foster families are always needed for older youth, sibling groups and children with special needs. For more information about foster care, please call 888-631-9510 or visit fostercare.in.gov.