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Urgent Need for Foster and Respite Parents in Douglas County

10:29 PM · Sep 7, 2023

As of July 31, 2023, Douglas County reports a slightly decreased but still pressing number of 173 children in foster care. The county has a particularly high demand for homes for children ages 8 through 18, reflecting the broader statewide need with a total of 4,765 children in foster care across Oregon. What is Foster Care? Foster care serves as a temporary safe haven for children and youth whose parents or caregivers can no longer adequately care for them. The primary aim is to keep the children safe while families work toward reunification. Types of Resource Parents 1. General Resource Family: These are individuals or couples who care for unrelated children. 2. Child-Specific: Certified to provide foster care for a specific, known child and typically not open to fostering other children. 3. Relative/Kinship Care: ODHS prefers to place children with relatives or individuals known to the child if it is safe and appropriate. Who Can Become a Resource Parent? To qualify as a resource parent, you must meet certain criteria, such as being at least 18 years old, having sufficient income, passing background checks, and providing a suitable home for a child. Why Foster an Older Child? While the instinct may be to foster younger children, there is a significant and urgent need for homes willing to take in older children. Offering stability and a sense of belonging to an older child can be transformative for both the child and the foster family. Respite Care Additionally, there's an acute need for certified respite providers, who can offer short-term care ranging from half a day to two weeks, thereby creating a vital support network for existing resource families. How to Get Involved 1. Orientation: ODHS provides online orientation sessions for potential resource parents. 2. Application: Following orientation, you can complete an application and will be paired with a certifier for the subsequent steps. 3. Training: Aspiring resource parents must undergo a 27-hour Resource and Adoptive Family Training (RAFT) program. 4. Home Study: This involves a thorough assessment, including home visits and background checks. 5. Placement: Once approved, children may be placed in your home based on the best fit for both parties. For additional details, Every Child, a non-profit partner with ODHS, hosts monthly coffee houses and “lunch and learn” sessions. These community events provide a comprehensive understanding of the foster and respite care process. Also Every Child Douglas County and ODHS is having a new clothing drive for their foster clothing closet which they are revamping into more of a store like setting. The clothing will still be available to the foster youth at no charge. They will be accepting donations of new clothing on Friday October 13 from 9am to 4pm at the ODHS building at 738 West Harvard in Roseburg. If anyone has questions about the clothing drive you can call 541-817-3970. The need for safe, loving homes in Douglas County is ongoing and urgent. Whether as a resource parent or a respite provider, or a donor of new clothing or other needed item, you have the chance to make a profound impact on a child's life. To learn more, you can contact Every Child at Everychildoregon.org or call 1-800-331-0503.

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