Tulare County Foster Care Licensing will hold an orientation for prospective foster parents at 6:30pm on March 6 and again March 20 at its 26500 S. Mooney Blvd. office.
In addition to the scheduled orientations, Tulare County Foster Care Licensing staff members now offer personal orientations in order to be more accessible to prospective foster parents.
“We have such a need for foster parents that we decided to have staff available throughout our normal office hours in order to be more accommodating and, hopefully, encourage more people to go through the orientation and training,” explained Anita Ortiz of Tulare County Foster Care Licensing.
Foster Care is a program that provides shelter to children who have been removed from their homes because of abuse, neglect or abandonment, or because their parents are ill or incarcerated. The shelter may be emergency, short-term care or longer term. There are nearly 1,000 children in the county’s foster care program, and there are not enough foster care homes. Of particular need are foster parents prepared to take in siblings or teenagers, and parents willing to respond to emergency placement needs.
People who are interested in becoming foster parents will need to attend an orientation meeting, and meet requirements such as being at least 18 years old, being financially able to support their own family, having no criminal record and a clear health screening, and being certified in CPR and first aid.
“Whenever possible it’s best to keep children in familiar schools and communities during tough times,” Ortiz said. “When we have people in all areas of the county who are willing and qualified to be foster parents, it is better for the children.”
To schedule a personal orientation, or for other information, call 623-0581.