An informational open house for prospective foster parents is planned for Wednesday, Oct. 8 at the Starke County office of the Department of Child Services at 318 E. Culver Road in Knox.
Regional foster care specialist Renee Woodworth will be available to discuss foster parent responsibilities as well as the licensing process, including the home study.
There are 132 abused or neglected children in the region currently living in non-relative foster homes because it is not safe for them to live in their own homes. There are 5,046 kids statewide living in non-relative foster homes.
Foster parents are needed in both Starke and Pulaski Counties and this open house can assist those interested in gathering information about how to prepare to be a foster parent. Foster parents can be stay-at-home adults or they can work outside the home. They may rent or own their dwelling, as long as it meets safety standards. In addition to providing food and shelter, volunteers will assist with visits with the child’s family, taking them to therapy sessions, medical appointments, and any school-related activities. These homes can provide a sense of stability for a child who is experiencing a challenging time in life.
Along with the open house on Oct. 8, a training class will be offered following the open house from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. CT at the Starke County DCS office. Pre-registration is required and can be made during the open house or by calling (574) 772-3411.