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Fostering hope

Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2019 at 11:02 am

Children deserve a safe place to grow up, but unfortunately that doesn’t always happen. There are school-aged children in the Northern Neck who need a temporary home to provide stability in times of uncertainty in their family’s life.  The Northern Neck Foster Parent program (NNFP), run by the Departments of Social Services in Westmoreland and Northumberland counties, is looking for foster parents who are willing to step in and provide the temporary support foster children need in a crucial and often difficult time.

According to the National Foster Parent Association, “There are many reasons and circumstances that make it difficult for biological families to meet the needs of their children, which include poverty, substance abuse, mental illness, homelessness, loss of a job or lack of support from extended family and community.”

Locally, most children are removed from their home due to abuse or neglect according to Tori Morris, Family Services Supervisor with Northumberland County’s Department of Social Services. Having foster parents located within the county allows some stability for children when they are removed from the home. “We try to keep them local whenever possible so they can at least continue at their same school,” Morris said.

In addition to providing stability, the goal is also to make foster care temporary. “The first goal is always to return the child to their home,” Morris said. To that end, caseworkers help parents or family members on “removing barriers” to placing the child back in the home. That may involve something like providing substance abuse treatment for a parent and counseling to help re-establish parenting ties with their children.

For the full article, pick up the latest Northern Neck News 1/9/19