Trumbull Children Services seeking foster parents
By Samantha Phillips
Trumbull County Children Services is seeking more community members to become foster parents as the number of children who need temporary homes continues to rise.
The agency hosted a meet and greet event Wednesday evening to provide information to prospective foster parents.
These foster children are various ages, and many of them are siblings and in need of a home that can foster them together, said Megan Martin, Children Services director of foster care and adoption. There are 135 kids who need temporary foster care and 35 that need a permanent home through adoption.
“We are looking for homes that can take more than one child so we don’t have to split them into different foster homes,” she said.
During the meet and greet, agency staff showed a testimonial video to prospective foster parents. They then took questions about the requirements from the group.
Maryann Noland of Niles is the president of the TCCS Foster Adoptive Parent Association. She has one biological child, four adopted children and three foster children, and she recommended the prospective foster parents get in touch with other fosters to find out what it’s like. For example, she said they can attend the monthly meetings of the association.
More people are inquiring about potentially fostering a child than before, said Stacy Ferencik, Children Services community liason, but the amount of children needing foster care is increasing. She attributes the trend in part to the opioid epidemic.
“Unfortunately, more and more children need to be placed outside their family as a result,” she explained.
“It’s really important not only to have families step forward, but we also need to have safe homes and provide adequate care for these kids,” Martin said.
Martin and Ferencik encourage anyone who is compassionate and can provide care for a child to foster or adopt.
“It’s the normal, everyday person that can change a child’s life,” Martin said.
“The benefits for foster kid are immense,” she added. “They are getting stability in their lives, receiving love and getting everything you expect a child to have. And the foster parents get to watch them learn and grow.”
For example, Ferencik said, one family was proud to be able to teach their foster child how to ride a bike.
“It’s providing these opportunities for kids they wouldn’t have normally been given,” Ferencik said.
Becoming a foster parent requires certification and training by the state and Children Services, both of which can be provided at the agency. Staff will conduct interviews with prospectve familes and perform a safety audit of their homes.
Anybody who is interested or has questions can call Ferencik at 330-372-2012, ext. 1405. For more information on the requirements and fostering process, visit http://trumbullcsb.org/fostering/.