Foster parents needed
by Denise Strub
May 15, 2013 | 1057 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Mississippi Department of Human Services/Division of Family and Children Services is conducting an awareness campaign in Bolivar County through the use of yard signs.

“We need to recruit more parents. We have very few foster parents, or as they are now called resource parents, in Bolivar County, especially Caucasian parents,” said Jodie Felton, volunteer and foster parent.

She said the yard signs are designed to get people interested and include a phone number for those who may want to be a foster parent.

“The yard signs are free but I do need a signage from the person taking the sign. The government needs to know where their money is going,” said Felton at the Cleveland Board of Aldermen meeting Tuesday.

Felton came to the board meeting to ask if she needed special permission for the signs and she was told no.

City Development Director Brett Moorman explained it was the same concept as political signs and they needed to be back from the right of way and not blocking traffic sight.

When asked how long the signs would be up, Felton said, “The campaign is from May through August.”

Human Services is especially attempting to locate parents who are willing to take hard to place children, such as large sibling groups, pregnant teens, children who are abused, children with psychological/development diagnoses, children who are sexually active, and children who act out aggressively.

Felton, who has been a foster parent for over 20 years, told the board of aldermen she feels truly blessed by the experience.

Resource or foster parents are individuals or married couples that complete the steps to become licensed to serve as caretakers for foster children.

These families provide a safe and stable environment for children who may be experiencing stress and trauma from recent life changes.

They receive a monthly reimbursement to help offset the cost of caring for children.

Social workers visit the home on a regular basis to provide services and support to the children and family.

Mississippi Resource Parents are people who: Are legal Mississippi Residents; Can pass a criminal background check; Are a minimum of 21 years of age; May be legally married or legally single; Have no more than 4 children living in the home; and Are financially self-supporting

Anyone interested in a yard sign or in becoming a foster parent may call Felton at 662-402-1947; or Ms. Artie Allen, area social work supervisor, at 662-378-0319 or 662-390-3640.