Local residents who have thought about becoming foster parents or have wondered about the process to get licensed for fostering and/or respite care can attend an event intended to dispel myths and answer questions.
On Thursday, March 8, from 6 to 7 p.m. and on Saturday, March 10, from 10 to 11 a.m., Isaiah’s Place Therapeutic Foster Care and the Champaign County Public Children Services Agency will hold an informal panel discussion to talk about foster parenting in the county Community Center auditorium, 1512 S. U.S. Route 68, Urbana.
Free childcare for children ages 3-10 with RSVP will be provided. A drawing for a $50 Kroger gift card and light refreshments will be available.
“Many people are curious about helping with the current foster care crisis, but they are not sure of the licensing process. They think something in their past may disqualify them from becoming foster parents, or they think it’s just not for them,” said Molly Snow, licensing specialist for Isaiah’s Place. “We want to have an open conversation about what these kids need, what the compensation looks like and what it takes to become a foster parent, so they can make an informed decision.”
The need is increasing
The need for foster homes has risen significantly in Champaign County since 2015, according to Stacy Cox, Social Services Administrator for the Champaign County Department of Job and Family Services. While many factors displace children from their families, Champaign County is seeing the same drastic rise in drug-related cases of children entering foster care that is plaguing the nation.
There is a need in Champaign County for foster homes. Isaiah’s Place licenses homes in 14 counties in the region, including Champaign County.
“Our communities need people to step up and help these kids. It’s not their fault that they are in these situations, and they find themselves with no one to trust,” Snow said. “Sometimes it’s as simple as having one adult in their life that genuinely cares about them that can make the difference between a child succeeding or becoming another statistic.”
The format will be informal and will include an introduction, followed by three professionals in the industry who will briefly discuss the common myths surrounding foster parenting, what it looks like to bring foster children into a home, the compensation for fostering and the licensing process. The program will then turn to questions for the guest panel.
Isaiah’s Place, which has received charity accreditation from the Dayton area Better Business Bureau, is a member of the Ohio Association of Child Caring Agencies (OACCA) and the national organization Family Focus Treatment Association (FFTA). It is a treatment foster care agency, which means foster parents are trained to handle children who have been abused, neglected and traumatized. The agency, which began in 2003, has an on-site training facility and is using a nationally recognized program to give foster parents the tools and resources to help ensure positive outcomes. Isaiah’s Place has programs to support foster families such as on-going training, family events and a program called “We Love Birthday Parties.”
To RSVP for childcare during the event, call Isaiah’s place at 937-335-3701 by March 6. To learn more about Isaiah’s Place and its programs, go to www.isaiahsplace.com.