Foster parenting is more popular - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Foster parenting is more popular

By Delivrine Registre - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Officials at Open Arms are getting an additional two to three calls a week from people interested in becoming foster parents. "They go through a 12-week program where we train them to be foster parents," said Executive Director, Fonda Strong.

"And we monitor the children after they are placed within the foster parents home." And though the process is extensive, this hasn't slowed the interest of any of the callers. "We have to do a background check. We have to do fingerprinting. The application process is a really big process," said Strong.

Right now, Open Arms is working with seven foster families in Southwest Georgia, and the children in these homes have been there for more than a year. "Since we have started, we have had three children to be adopted. And that is a joyous day for all of us: the agency, the child and the family."

But this is the exception with Foster care. "If we ever have to move a child, it tares that foster parent apart," said Strong.

In 2007 there were 22,000 Georgia children in the foster care program. 85% were victims of severe neglect. And the others are victims of physical abuse, sexual abuse or both. And the number of neglect and abuse cases tend the rise during the tough economy.

And though the situation is not permanent, officials hope more people step up to fill the need. "Just to know that we placed a child there, and the child wants to be there. We have created a loving family. You have a loving home," said Strong.

And that is what the foster care program is all about. Anyone interested in becoming a foster parent can call Open Arms at 229-431-1121.

Open Arms is based in Albany but serves 13 counties. You can click here for more information on becoming a foster parent.

Also, learn more about Foster Parenting by using these links-

  • Georgia Center for Resources and Support, Adoption and Foster Care
  • Adoptive and Foster Parent Association of Georgia (AFPAG) - Home
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