ST. GEORGE – Families of all designs are asked to consider opening their homes to children in Southern Utah for foster care. “Ask a Foster Parent Lunch and Learn” will give prospective foster parents the chance to learn about the program, how it works and what to expect in an informal, friendly gathering Tuesday, from noon to 1 p.m.
The lunch and chat will be hosted at the Utah Foster Care Foundation offices at 491 E. Riverside Dr. in Suite 2-B in St. George. Anyone considering becoming a foster parent is welcome to attend.
“The purpose is just to get the word out there. To let people know there’s a need and to help inform people about what the foster care program is like so they can be more aware of it,” said Ben Ashcraft, LMFT, Southwest Region Area Representative.
Ashcraft said most people in the community are aware of the program but don’t really know how it works. The lack of specifics about the program also leads to misconceptions.
“One of the main ones is that people who do foster care only do it for money,” he said. “The reality is that the majority of people that I’ve went out and met with, they do it because their hearts are in it. They care for children and doing service for their community.”
Ashcraft described the payments households receive for fostering as more of a reimbursement than a paycheck.
Some families are concerned they don’t fit the profile for fostering.
“They can be single. They can be married,” he said. “They need to have a stable income so they can support their family and they need to have a love for children.”
A stay at home parent is an advantage, Ashcraft said, but not a requirement.
Families at all stages of their lives are welcome.
“At any stage of life it’s appropriate,” he said. “Each stage provides a different resource for the children that come into care.”
Children coming into the program are then matched with the family that will provide the best fit for the child. The foster home preferences are taken into account but the right home for the child is priority.
“It’s really about the children and making sure that their needs are met,” he said. “They’ve been traumatized being removed from their home.”
About two-thirds of the children placed in foster care will eventually return to their families. The others will need the comfort and security of caring families who want to make a difference, Ashcraft said.
The lunch program will present a short briefing on the program and give guests a chance to speak with parents involved in foster care.
“Make an informed decision. Come and find out as much information as you can and from the direct source of people who have done it before, people who are involved with it,” he said. “You can make a much more informed decision by coming and getting that information from the source.”
- What: Ask a Foster Parent Lunch and Learn
- When: Tuesday, Oct. 6, from noon to 1 p.m.
- Where: The Utah Foster Care Foundation offices, 491 E. Riverside Dr. in Suite 2-B, St. George
- Contact: For more information call 435-656-8065 or RSVP to [email protected]
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Email: [email protected]
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