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Foster parents providing family

All children deserve a good, caring home, but for those placed in the foster care system, finding that home is easier said than done.
“Everybody needs a family,” said Jessica Towery, adoption social worker with the Lincoln County Department of Social Services. “That’s what we’re really advocating.”
While social workers make it their first goal to reunite children with their birth family, it’s not always the end solution.
Instead, many children currently in the foster care system are in need of adoptive, permanent homes.
“Group homes are okay, and they do a good job,” said Towery. “But these children need a family.”
For this reason, November has been named Adoption Awareness Month, and employees of the DSS hope raised awareness leads to happy families.
Currently, Lincoln County is home to 32 foster families. Parents range from 30-somethings who can’t have children to empty-nesters in their 60s who aren’t done parenting.
Becoming a foster parent requires 30 hours of training and an extensive background check. Such action is necessary to guarantee a safe home for the foster children, many of whom are leaving a neglectful situation.
After these children live in a more attentive home, many make remarkable changes.
“They get into a routine, and they get a little less guarded because they know that family’s going to be there for them,” Towery said.
With 6,000 children currently in North Carolina’s foster care system, officials hope more people decide to become adoptive parents.
“There is always a need for foster families, and I don’t think you can have too many,” said Sandy Kennedy, DSS supervisor for foster care and adoption. “Everyone deserves a family, that’s the bottom line.”
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To learn more about becoming a foster parent call the DSS at (704) 732-0738.
by Sarah Grano

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