Have you ever thought about becoming a Foster Parent? This meeting is for you. Watauga County Department of Social Services will begin a Foster Parent Training on Thursday April 25th, 2013.  The meetings will be held in the Human Services Building conference room, second floor from 6:00PM- until 9:00PM.  

Starting April 25th, 2013, 6pm-9pm

The first meeting will be a good opportunity to come and meet the trainers, gather information, ask questions, and get an idea if working with DSS may work for you.  The whole process of the class is designed to gain information and work towards a  mutual decision about working together.  

 The department is in need of Foster Parents for all age ranges of children, especially older children and sibling groups.  Additionally this class is offered to those interested in adoption through the department.  Please note that our office is charged with finding children permanent homes and that all homes that work with us must be licensed as foster homes.  Often times it is a long wait to adopt a younger child through DSS. We would encourage you to explore additional options as well if you desire to adopt an infant, toddler or younger child. One excellent resource are private adoption agencies.  A list of those agencies may be found on NC Kids web site at: www.nckids.org.  Under contacts.  

The classes will run for ten weeks with homework being assigned each session.   Following the class there will be additional information gathered, including personal narratives, inspections, physicals, Home study/Pre Placement Assessment (PPA), criminal checks, fingerprinting, etc.  At the completion of the class and other items, we will work together towards you becoming licensed as a foster parent. 

To schedule to attend this class or to attend the first session please notify either Roberta V. Yates or Caleb S. Jackson at the Watauga County Department of Social Services.  (828) 265-8100 or via email at : roberta.yates@watgov.org or caleb.jackson@watgov.  You may leave a message if we are unable to take your call. 

There is a great need for fostering and we hope that you will consider working with us to help the children and families in our area.  We welcome you to the first session to gain information, no commitment is required.  Please note that there are a minimum number of participants needed to begin these classes.  If this is not met we will discuss other options and look at future dates. Please note:  Daycare is not provided and children are not allowed to attend the session.

Twelve pairs of eyes peaked shyly over 12 straight-back chairs, their nannies coaxing them to keep eyes focused on the art program they were supposed to be enjoying. Our son was downstairs waking up and finishing up his breakfast. Those eyes broke my heart. I couldn't take them with me. I could never in a million years parent twelve two year olds no matter how deeply my heart broke. Even the Russian system said that they needed at least two nannies. There are times when the reality of the orphan crisis can crush your soul. 

I have always known the the biblical commandment to care for the orphan could never be abated by the adoption of one son but I also know very well that it is beyond my control to adopt all the children that need care. Of course no one family can. Where is the balance?

There is a movement that has caught my attention, call the Forgotten Initiative. It is a branch of the Lifesong for the Orphan ministry. They seek to bring joy and purpose to the foster care community. They challenge people to go to their local social service branch and ask how they can help. They have several ideas of how one might minister them but they really encourage to people to seek the individual needs of their community. Minister to the fatherless in their "Jerusalem" so to speak. The idea inspired and excited me

Here in Watauga county there are approximately 30 children in our foster care system. They have brought in 9 children since the beginning of the year (high for them and they are hoping the trend does not continue).  Many times when children are taken from their homes, they leave with nothing. Nothing. Only the clothes on their backs. Journey bags are one way to help. They are backpacks filled with personal items for them. Kind of like what you would put into a Operation Christmas Child Shoebox only it is in a backpack and for a child in our county. 
I want to take ten Journey Bags to our local agency. Will you help me and pack a backpack for a child in need?