By Sherrie Norris
If you or your family have been contemplating making a difference in the lives of children — and are interested in becoming a foster or adoptive parent — now is the time to discover how to make that happen.
Watauga County Department of Social Services is hosting a virtual information session at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 6, which allows you to participate from the comfort of your own home.
It comes as no surprise that the numbers of foster children are constantly rising; in fact, in Watauga County alone, there were 86 children in foster care in January 2021, compared to 38 at the same time in 2018.
Children, from birth to age 21, are in the system and needing placement for a number of reasons, most of which are no fault of their own.
Most have been taken from the familiarity of home, whatever that situation may be, and they need to know that someone cares and is willing to provide the following, for starters: Time, commitment, empathy, compassion, boundaries, guidance and discipline.
The foster and adopt service through Watauga County provides an invaluable support network and always has the best interest of the children front and foremost.
According to Social Worker Jessica Hunter, fostering a child or children, does require commitment, which includes 30 hours of training — and it all comes with a lot of support, follow-up, respite, “buddy families” and so much more.
It is always the goal that foster children have “permanent placement,” whether through reunification with biological family, custody, guardianship or adoption.
And, of course, the adoption process requires a long-term commitment to make life worth living well for everyone involved.
For more information about the upcoming virtual session, or general information on how to be a foster or adoptive parent, contact Jessica Hunter, Licensing and Adoptions Social Worker at Watauga County Department of Social Services by calling 828-265-8100 or emailing watgov.org/fosterhelp or [email protected].