Lucas County Children Services (LCCS) joins child welfare agencies nationwide in recognizing May 2012 as National Foster Care Month, and is appealing for more adults and families to become foster caregivers in Lucas County.
LCCS currently has 257 caregiving families providing temporary care for Lucas County children who have suffered abuse or neglect. The total number of agency foster homes has declined by nearly 25 percent since 2009. “Many caregivers who may have wanted to become foster parents have been affected by the recent economic downturn. They’re either helping their own extended families or, due to the economy, are unable to meet the income requirements that the State of Ohio requires,” said Robin Reese, LCCS Placements Manager, who oversees the agency’s foster care program.
LCCS foster families care for children whose parents need time to work out the problems that prevent their kids from being safe at home. Foster parents also support birth families by providing guidance and support so families have a better chance of reunifying successfully.
Currently, LCCS needs more families to become foster caregivers. The need is particularly acute for families in the 43604, 43605, 43608, 43609 and 43611 ZIP codes. The agency needs caregivers for babies, children with special needs, as well as for families who are able to care for groups of three or more brothers and sisters. “We continue to be committed to keeping groups of brothers and sisters together, whenever possible,” said Dean Sparks, executive director of Lucas County Children Services.
Adults interested in learning more about becoming foster parents can call 419-213-3336 for information, and are invited to attend free training sessions June 18 to 23 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at LCCS offices at 705 Adams St. in downtown Toledo.
Additional training sessions are scheduled later in the year; schedules are available at www.lucaskids.net.