November is more than just the month to celebrate veterans and enjoy a huge meal with your family on Thanksgiving. The month has also been deemed National Adoption Month and there is always a need for more foster families in Castle Country.
Kobi Prettyman, Lead Foster-Adoptive Consultant for the area, would like to invite those in the community interested in fostering to the upcoming Adoption Forum scheduled for Nov. 12 beginning at 6 p.m. at the Utah Foster Care Offices.
Prettyman stated that one preconceived misconception about children and teens in the foster program is that they are troubled. Though they have experienced trauma, they can heal, Prettyman explained. By having a stable situation and a nurturing environment, those that foster can help a child or teen heal from dramatic situations.
There are some requirements for those that wish to foster. Extra space in the home as well as stability in life and financials are musts. A criminal background check and standard home necessities such as smoke detectors are also required. Usually, up to four children can be fostered at a time. However, an exception can be made for larger sibling groups if space is permitting.
Those that wish to explore fostering do not have to foster four at a time and may only foster one if that is what is desired. For those interested, the first step would be to reach out to Prettyman for an initial consultation, followed by training and paperwork.
Having foster families close to home means that those in the system are able to stay near other family members as well as friends. Having experience as a foster parent in the past, Prettyman stated that being able to help a teenager obtain life skills or watch a younger child grow in their knowledge is highly rewarding.
Locally, there are nearly 30 foster homes. On average, around 100 children and teens around Carbon and Emery are in the system. Most of the 30 families are already fostering children and those that are currently entering the system are in need of placement.
Prettyman expressed that those that wish to foster must accept the need to send the children and teens home when the time comes. Most foster parents agree that, though letting them go is hard, it is worth it in the end and many are able to maintain contact with the children and teens, Prettyman explained.
“The rewards are greater than the heartbreak in sending them home,” Prettyman said.
For more information on becoming a foster family, contact Prettyman at (435) 636-0210 or firstname.lastname@example.org.