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[DCS] Elkhart, St. Joseph County Departments of Child Services Recruiting Foster Parents: Informational Meetings in Elkhart, South Bend March 29
Start Date: 3/19/2014Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 3/19/2014
Entry Description

ELKHART, SOUTH BEND, Ind. (March 19, 2014)—Both the Elkhart County and St. Joseph County offices of the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) are looking for some adults with a strong desire to invest in the future. These selfless caregivers will provide temporary supervision and stability for foster children during a challenging time in the children’s lives. Short informational meetings for these prospective foster parents are scheduled for Saturday, March 29 in Elkhart and South Bend.

 

“We actively pursue relatives who are willing to meet the needs of the children who have been abused or neglected. However, when relatives are not available, we rely on committed foster parents who are ready and willing to step up and temporarily help a child in need,” said Tony Sommer, director of the Elkhart County DCS office.

 

“We need more foster homes within our own community so children don’t experience additional challenges and trauma such as moving to a new school or another county,” added Linda Cioch, St. Joseph County DCS director. “When the child is with a local foster family, it makes spending time with their parents easier and can help them maintain essential connections, too. When services are needed, it allows us to utilize local service providers.”

 

Foster parents can be stay-at-home parents or they can work outside the home. They may rent or own their own house, apartment or condominium, as long as it meets safety standards. Besides providing food and shelter, they assist with practical needs like helping with visits with the child’s family, taking them to any needed therapy sessions, medical and other appointments and ensuring there are extra-curricular activities.

 

Local foster parents are especially needed so school-age children removed from their homes can continue to attend their own school and maintain contact with their friends. Those willing to foster teenagers or sibling groups are particularly desired.

 

The informational meetings will be led by a foster care specialist from the respective Elkhart or St. Joseph County DCS office. Foster parent responsibilities as well as the general licensing requirements, including the home study, will be discussed. A willingness to step up and help a child in need is the most important prerequisite for becoming a foster parent.

 

Three meetings are scheduled for Saturday, March 29 at the Elkhart County DCS office, 1659 Mishawaka St. in Elkhart and also at the St. Joseph County office, 300 N. Michigan St., Suite 230 in South Bend. Each meeting is expected to last approximately 30 minutes. They will begin at 10 am, 10:45 am and 11:30 am.

 

Currently there are more than 4,700 abused or neglected Hoosier children statewide living in non-relative foster homes because it is unsafe for them to live in their own homes. In Elkhart and St. Joseph Counties, 344 kids are living in foster homes.

 

About Indiana Department of Child Services:
DCS is committed to protecting children who are victims of abuse or neglect. The agency's primary goal is to safely keep these children at home with their families by offering appropriate support services. It also manages the child support bureau. Indiana Child Abuse/Neglect Hotline: 800.800.5556.  
www.in.gov/dcs

###

Contact Information:
Name: Rich Allen, Assistant Communications Director
Phone: 317.232.4424
Email: rich.allen@dcs.in.gov
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Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Kids and Families
  • IN.gov Category:
  • Family & Health
  • Agency Name
    Child Services, Indiana Department of

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