Initiative Launched to Recruit More Young Foster Parents

May 18, 2018 09:34 AM

More young parents are needed to nurture kids in crisis in need of safe, temporary care.

That's why MN ADPOT, a private non-profit contracted by the Minnesota Department of Human Services, is launching a new initiative to help get more licensed foster parents in Minnesota.

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The DHS said the reasons children across Minnesota might be in need of foster parents range from neglect to physical abuse, and most often, to parental drug abuse.

RELATED: Case Workers: Foster Care Provider Recruitment Reaches Critical Need Level

Since there isn't a one-stop-shop for foster care, MN ADOPT is launching a new, online platform called Fostering Network.

It is intended to bulldoze the process - helping with the front-end lifting, providing prospective foster care couples with resources and connections to get licensed.

And MN ADOPT said the need is urgent.

According to the DHS, on an average day, about 9,900 children are in foster care in Minnesota in 2017.

RELATED: Program Focuses on Mental Health Care for Foster Youth

That's up from 8,850 in 2016.

But MN ADOPT said the number of foster care parents hasn't increased. And they'll need young couples to fill the gap soon when empty-nesters and retirees are expected to hang up their foster parent hats.

Those who have been foster parents say it's rewarding.

"Mom" isn't what their kids choose to call them.  And for couple Brittany Burns and Shea Gregory, that's OK. They still take on the role.

Burns, 27, and Gregory, 26, are foster parents to a 3-year-old girl and a couple of baby boys: ages 8 and 3 months.

"You have to realize, a child has been removed from their normal," Gregory said of being a foster parent. "They may not ... they probably won't want to be there.

RELATED: Organization Takes Care of Foster Youth at Thanksgiving

"And that's going to be really hard. It can be heartbreaking. In time, things will change. It feels good to become a person and a place that they want to seek comfort from."

Credits

Brandi Powell

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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