Due to the inability of their biological family to provide them with a secure and stable environment, many children in the United States are being raised in foster homes. In Tennessee, the Department of Child Services is entrusted with the responsibility of providing a temporary home for such children. The DCS selects foster families who are capable of supporting the children during their formative years and catering to their social and emotional needs.
It is not uncommon for foster parents to later seek child custody, and therefore, developing parenting skills right from the stage when they first become foster parents is extremely important. To aid in this effort, Youth Villages, a nonprofit organization from Memphis, Tennessee, is offering free orientation and training for foster parents. As many children in Tennessee find it difficult to find a foster home, this effort is expected to go a long way.
According to reports, as many as 900 children in Shelby County alone were in the custody of the DCS at the end of June of this year. A foster parent recruiter from Youth Villages stressed that every child is unique, and therefore it becomes important for that child to find a suitable family with whom he or she can live. The nonprofit also mentioned that at any point, thirty children in Shelby County are in full guardianship of the state and in need of a foster home. Youth Villages and other such organizations in the area help these children find homes.
Youth Villages is looking for potential parents who have spent over 25 years as residents of Tennessee and have adequate income and transportation to support a child. The organization will conduct a background check and a home study to verify a family’s capability of being foster parents and supporting the best interests of the child. Youth Villages also plans to offer orientation programs for prospective foster parents and provide training on parenting skills. The nonprofit also offers 24/7 support through counselors, support groups and a monthly stipend. Moreover, if the child is put up for adoption in the future, the foster parents will be given first priority.
Source: Road Runner News, “Memphis organization offers free training for foster parents,” Katie Fretland, July 6, 2014