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May 3, 2014

Quick Five: Stillwater needs foster families

STILLWATER, Okla. — Vickie Karns is coordinating a meeting for prospective foster parents.

1  What is foster care?

Foster Care was created to provide a temporary home for children who are in the Oklahoma Department of Human Services custody due to abuse, neglect, abandonment, or incarceration of their parents. When a child is removed from these situations, they are taken to a shelter to wait for an available foster home. Foster Care allows these children to live in a loving environment until they are either reunified with their parents or until a permanent home can be found. More than 10,000 Oklahoma children are in need of a safe, supportive home.

2 How are prospective foster families found?

Foster families are needed in the Stillwater area. Circle of Care, one of the recruiting agencies contracted by the state of Oklahoma, will host an information session for prospective foster parents from 2-3:30 p.m. May 18 at the Stillwater First United Methodist Church Family Life Center, Room 107-109. In addition to a representative from Circle of Care, current foster parents will be there to tell their experiences and answer questions.  Attending the meeting is not a commitment — it is a chance to learn more about the process to be certified and to ask questions of those who have been there. To request childcare or for more information, call 405-372-5854.

3 Who is eligible to be a foster parent?

A responsible, mature and healthy adult at least 21 years of age with stable living arrangements and the ability to manage personal and household financial needs is eligible. The person should have healthy relationships whether married, single or divorced and be able to meet the medical and emotional needs of a child. Everyone in the household must pass a background check.

4 What support is available for foster families?

The United Methodist Circle of Care program Child S.H.A.R.E. (Shelter Homes: A Rescue Effort) trains and certifies foster families. A co-op is now available in Stillwater to provide local support and encouragement to Child S.H.A.R.E. foster parents as they welcome children into their homes. The co-op was established through a partnership of area churches, community service organizations and personal donations

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