A Growing Need for Foster Families
Although it can be very challenging, becoming a foster parent is also very rewarding.
In North Carolina the need for foster families is growing. An increasing number of parents are unable to take care of their children due to illness, homelessness, drug or alcohol addiction and other reasons. After the local Department of Social Services has stepped in to take custody of the children, they are provided with a temporary living arrangement in a foster home.
In addition to residential programs for displaced children, Boys & Girls Homes of North Carolina, based in Lake Waccamaw, works to find loving foster homes for children in need of care. The nonprofit has worked with the N.C. Department of Social Services since 1954.
“Our mission at Boys & Girls Homes is to provide the best care possible to meet the needs of the children,” says Donna Yalch, vice president for community-based services.
Children who need temporary, out-of-home placement are paired with foster parents through the Boys & Girls Homes foster care programs.
“Children in our program range from infants to teens,” Yalch says. “They need parents who are dedicated, loving and patient to see them through the good and not-so-good times.”
Because foster care is temporary, the goal of family foster care is to reunite children with their families or prepare them for adoption or independent living. But in some cases, reunification is just not possible. “We have been a foster-to-adopt agency since 2004 to allow foster parents to consider adoption in those cases,” Yalch says.
Some children need a more intensive therapeutic environment because of what they experienced before being removed from abusive situations. These children will go through a therapeutic foster-care program. The child is placed with licensed, therapeutic foster parents who work with therapeutic foster care consultants, clinicians, case managers and other treatment team members to define the child’s treatment needs and assist them in making progress toward their set goals.
“We continue to be blessed to have foster families to place these vulnerable children, but the need continues to grow,” Yalch says.
Can you help foster children in Brunswick County?
To learn more about the opportunity to become a Boys & Girls Homes foster parent, call (877) 211-5322 or visit boysandgirlshomes.org. Boys and Girls Homes is an organization