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Welcoming Homes Needed in Marin for Youth in Foster Care

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Resource parent Linda and her son are considered one of Marin’s fostering successes.

Many are placed outside of the county due to a lack of resource families

Courtesy of Marin County

Parenting always has its ups and downs, but it has been particularly challenging over the past two years during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Marin County Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) would like to recognize and thank those who stood by the children in foster care and started the process of becoming a resource parent during particularly stressful times. It is also promoting a new way for potential foster parents to learn about resource families.

On May 10, the Marin County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution proclaiming May Foster Care Awareness Month, prompting Bree Marchman, Division Director of Marin HHS Children & Family Services, to express her gratitude.

“Children & Family Services would not be able to serve our community without the support of our local resource parents and siblings, and we are deeply indebted to their commitments to the welfare of foster children,” she said.

The resolution recognized those who authentically engage with youth to build lasting relationships. Resource families are often the place where a child can begin their healing journey. Studies show that it takes just one committed adult to make a world of difference in a child’s life. Resource families do more than support the children, they often support the parents on their healing journey as well, helping to reunify families and often becoming integral members of the child’s extended family. When reunification can’t happen, those families sometimes find themselves providing a forever family to a special child.

Just in time for Foster Care Awareness Month, the Marin Foster Care Association, and Children & Family Services is launching Lunch and Learns, new monthly one-hour, in-person gatherings that will include lunch with foster parents who will share about their experiences and answer questions. The gatherings set up to serve as a casual way to learn more about the foster care system in Marin and how others can help support youth in the community.

Online registration is open.

The need for more families, especially for teens, has been a constant even prior to COVID-19. Marin averages 85 youth in foster care and nearly 40% of them, mostly teens, are placed in homes outside of Marin. Anyone who has ever considered fostering is welcome to learn more at an information meeting. Online meetings are held monthly, hosted by a social worker and a resource parent who discuss the application process, training, and support available, as well as answer questions. For more information and to register for an orientation meeting, visit http://www.FosterOurFuture.org or call Leslie Fields at (415) 473-6418.

Children enter the child welfare system through no fault of their own and deserve to live in safe and supportive homes. Every effort is made to keep children in their community, to keep siblings together, and to create good matches between kids and families. To do that, Marin needs a larger, more diverse pool of homes for foster children. Resource families can provide temporary care to children while biological families work toward reunification, or they can choose to be an adoptive family; both are needed.

While not everyone is able to foster a child, any adult can volunteer with the Friends of the Family Program to provide support to resource families. Interested applicants will work with Children and Family Services and the Marin County Volunteers Program to become approved as a Friend of the Family. The assessment process varies depending on the level of involvement a prospective participant will have and may include a background check and an interview with a social worker.

For more information and the application, visit FosterOurFutureMarin.org.

The post Welcoming Homes Needed in Marin for Youth in Foster Care first appeared on Post News Group. This article originally appeared in Post News Group.

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