Foster families needed in Darlington County
DARLINGTON, S.C. – Darlington County needs 57 more foster families to care for the increasing number of vulnerable children who come into care so those children can remain close to their home communities.
Children enter foster care when they can no longer live safely at home, and there is no other relative to care for them. Foster families provide these children with a safe and nurturing environment.
“When a child comes into foster care, everything about their home life changes,” Darlington County Department of Social Services Director Ron Krein said. “If we can keep them in the same county, we have a possibility of keeping them in the same school, church, ball team or scout troop. That gives them a better chance at some sense of normalcy.”
The focus on Darlington County is part of a public awareness campaign to concentrate recruitment efforts on local levels, showing specific needs in towns, school district boundaries and zip codes.
“When people see the need right here in their own community, it’s easier for them to understand how they can help,” Krein said.
Foster families provide that temporary, safe, loving home for a child who needs one. They step in during crisis in a child’s life and try to bring normalcy.
There is a specific need in Darlington for families who can care for sibling groups. Most children come into care with at least one sibling.
“Most times, siblings are their own support group,” Krein said. “They have helped each other survive challenging situations at home. If we can find a family who can keep siblings together, that helps the healing process tremendously.”
It takes an average of four months to become licensed as a foster parent. You have to be able to demonstrate the ability to care for a child, attend some training, undergo a background check and have a home inspection. You don’t have to be married or own your home.
To begin the process of becoming a foster parent, visit scfamilies.org or call Heartfelt Calling at 888-828-3555.
DSS also is looking for opportunities to share information with civic organizations, businesses, churches and any other group interested in learning more. Call James Casserly at 803-898-4174.