Foster Families Needed for Infants, Teens and Children with Special Needs
At any time in Anne Arundel County, there are about 150 children in foster care. These children often come from families in crisis, so they need a home that can provide a stable home-life during the transition of being reunited with their family, placed with relatives or adopted. It is a rough spot for the children, and certainly not something they asked for or have any control over.
You can help.
The Anne Arundel County Department of Social Services is looking for dedicated adults to serve as foster parents. There is currently a lack of foster parents/homes in Anne Arundel county, so siblings are being separated and some children are being moved out of the county.
You can make a difference by being a foster parent.
To find out if this is something your household can handle, Social Services holds informational meetings to help explain the foster care program. Call 410-897-3909 for more information.
How Foster Care Works
Social Services statistics indicate that the greatest need for foster homes and/or adoptive parents are for teenagers, sibling groups and infants with specialized medical needs. Nearly a quarter of children entering foster care are under 12 months old. Of those, many are born drug-exposed. About two-thirds are teens. Nearly half are caucasian.
The process of becoming a foster/adoptive parent includes training, home inspections, and visits from your assigned family development specialist. Becoming a foster parent takes about six months.
First, potential foster families attend an informational meeting. Potential foster families must be Anne Arundel County residents. They must have empathy and patience, be team players, have adequate bedroom space and be able to love—and let go. Adoptive parents can be married or single. They can be 21 years old to grandparents. They can be experienced parents, empty nesters or not have any experience as a parent. They can be employed outside the home or full-time homemakers.
There are other ways to help too. Employ a foster child/teen at your business. Sponsor an activity or host an event for foster and adoptive families. Donate computers, school supplies or other goods and services that families with children might need.
Visit the Department of Social Services/Foster Care website for more information.