“Anytime a kid goes home,” Middendorf said, “we applaud that foster parent and are glad to have them in the county. Foster parents play a huge role in helping ensure the transition [back to the birth parents] is successful and smooth.”
Being a foster parent isn’t an easy job, Middendorf conceded, but can be satisfying, worthwhile work for the right individual, offering the opportunity to “help a lot of kids.”
Prospective foster parents must be at least 21 years old. Non-married couples must have been in a relationship for at least one year. The applicant isn’t required to own a home but must be in a safe and stable living environment.
Candidates must demonstrate financial fitness, too, meaning they can responsibly support their own households. Foster parents are paid a ‘per diem’ amount to meet each child’s ongoing daily needs, but it’s nowhere near enough to support a family, Middendorf emphasized.
Applicants must complete a number of questionnaires and provide four references; those requirements are in addition to the aforementioned home inspections and visits. Those accepted to foster must attend 10 hours of pre-service training.
Middendorf and Hankins alike welcomed anyone interested in becoming a foster parent to call DCS.
“If you’re on the fence [about becoming a foster parent],” Middendorf said, “call us and we’ll arrange for you to speak with a current foster parent.”
“This could be a chance to make a difference not only in a child’s life,” she continued, “but also a difference in an entire family’s life.”
The next foster-parent recruitment event will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and from 7 to 8 p.m., March 11, at the Decatur County DCS offices at 1025 E. Freeland Road, suite B, next to the Decatur County BMV branch.
For more information or to enquire about fostering, call 663-6768 and ask for Emily or dial extension #12949 for Sarah Middendorf.
Contact: Rob Cox 812-663-3111 x7011; email@example.com