DHR seeks families to foster, adopt kids

The Marengo County Department of Human Resources is looking for parents willing to adopt or foster children in need of care and support. DHR currently has 25 children in the foster care system, but large sibling groups could come in at any time increasing the need for foster families.

DHR is also looking for foster parents willing to temporarily take in children while their primary foster parents are given respite or for emergency care.

Dawn Hewitt, service supervisor with DHR, said that the more homes willing to take in foster children, the better.

“We always need foster homes because the more foster homes we have, the better matches we get.”

Before fostering or adopting a child, prospective foster parents must meet several requirements, such as completing a 10-week course, a background check, a medical check and financial ability, though the state also provides some financial support.

Hewitt said the classes help the parents determine if they want to adopt or foster children or both. It also gives them information about specific needs children in the foster care system will have.

“They may need more time or patience, but they want to be loved just like any other child does,” Hewitt said.

Foster homes can have from one to five children at a time. Children are normally in the foster care system for a year, and the waiting period for adoption and fostering varies. Foster parents are also given priority for adopting the foster child in their care if custody is not returned to the biological parents or given to relatives.

Because the goal is to reunite children with their parents, good relationships with the foster parents and the biological parents is encouraged to serve as a parenting model.

“There has been a lot of good outcomes from the foster parents having a good relationship with the biological parents,” Hewitt said.

Hewitt said that just because the fostering period is not permanent, the foster parents can still have a profound impact on the child.

“They have the power to make a difference in their life.”

Those interested in adopting or fostering children, contact Hewitt at 334-295-2000.

(This article originally appeared in the Saturday, March 31 issue of the Demopolis Times.)