Washoe County's Department of Social Services (WCDSS) currently has 60 children for whom they are actively seeking adoptive homes, and will provide a Have a Heart Foster Care Workshop Tuesday, Feb. 12, for all individuals and couples interested in the program.
The primary goal of WCDSS is to protect children and strengthen families by working to resolve concerns that caused the initial removal of the child from his or her primary home, such as abuse or neglect. Parents whose children are in foster care have 12-18 months from the time of their child's removal to remedy these issues. During this time, the intent of WCDSS is to return children to the care of their biological parents.
"Right now we have approximately 380 foster homes," said Mikie Franklin, supervisor of the WCSSD recruitment and training unit for the foster care program. "However, this includes treatment homes and homes of the child's relatives, so we really only have about 180 regular foster homes."
Treatment homes take children with more difficult needs, mainly emotional and behavioral issues, and foster them until they can be moved to a regular family foster home. Relative homes are licensed specifically for those related to the child, such as grandparents or aunts and uncles.
"They foster them until the child returns to his or her parent or until they are adopted," said Franklin. "They are great resources and we look for relatives first at all times. But we also need a lot of help from others in the community."
To learn more about foster care and training to be a foster parent, the WCSSD has posted a recruitment video that answers many frequently asked questions. Visit www.haveaheartnv.org for information and call (775) 337-4470 to sign up for the workshop.
WHAT: Have a Heart Foster Care Workshop
WHERE: Children's Services, 350 South Center St., Reno, Second floor conference room
WHEN: Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.
From Washoe County