May honors foster parents contributions

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 6, 2008

LINDEN &8212; Later this month, the bushes outside of the Marengo County Department of Human Resources will hold teal colored ribbons &8212; 29 to be exact &8212; one for each foster child in the county.

The decoration is just one small way to honor the foster care system as part of National Foster Care Month. According to Charlotte Webb, service supervisor for Marengo County DHR, this month is a time to both honor the service of parents who open up their homes to foster children but also to celebrate the children themselves.

One way they do this is by hosting a picnic at Chickasaw Park with hot dogs and hamburgers donated by local businesses and churches. Webb said it is also beneficial that the month coincides with Mother&8217;s Day.

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Most foster parents care for children that have come from abusive homes and situations, which can be difficult to deal with, Webb said. But without their assistance, there simply would be no place for them to go. In the United States alone, there are nearly 6,000 children in foster care.

Another part of the foster care system in the county is looking for adoptive placement for the children. According to Webb, statewide the trend is to have foster parents become adoptive parents.

Just this week, Webb said a group of four siblings who have been in foster care for the last several years were adopted by their foster parents. It is these kinds of stories keeping her hopeful these children will grow up in loving homes, Webb said.

But just as with any child service, the process begins with an intensive introduction into childcare for potential foster families. The 10-week program deals with everything from basic care to more specific issues related to children being taken from abusive situations. Webb said they are always looking for more people to become foster parents, and John Marler, director for Marengo County DHR, agrees.