Local students support children in foster care
Jun 05, 2014 | 436 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A banner celebration National Foster Care Month hangs on the fence at Helen M. Knight Elementary School. In late May, HMK students placed ribbons on the banner in support of children in foster care in Grand and San Juan counties. Courtesy photo
A banner celebration National Foster Care Month hangs on the fence at Helen M. Knight Elementary School. In late May, HMK students placed ribbons on the banner in support of children in foster care in Grand and San Juan counties. Courtesy photo
slideshow
Just before the end of the school year, in celebration of National Foster Care Month, students at Helen M. Knight Elementary School helped tie ribbons to the fence to represent the number of children in foster care in Grand and San Juan counties.

Most children are in foster care for about 12 months, but some children may stay longer, Kobi Prettyman of Utah Foster Care said in a news release.

“The length of time a child is in foster care varies depending on their family’s individual circumstances,” said Prettyman. “More than half of children who enter foster care return to live with their birth parents or another relative.”

Foster families have the opportunity to mentor and support parents who are working to have their children returned to them. When a child cannot be reunited safely with family, they may be adopted from foster care. Last year, 543 children were adopted from foster care in Utah, most of them by their foster parents, according to the news release.

“Children in foster care are all ages, from newborn to teens. In Grand and San Juan counties, the greatest need is for families who are able and willing to care for children over age 8,” according to the news release. “Many children enter foster care with brothers and sisters and need foster families who can help them stay together.”

Children in foster care come from all racial and cultural backgrounds. There is a need for families of all races and cultures to come forward, officials said, adding that children “do better when placed with families who can help them maintain their cultural and racial identities.”

Foster parents can be married or single. They can own or rent their homes. It takes 32 hours of training and the ability to pass a criminal background check to become a foster parent in Utah.

Utah Foster Care and the Division of Child and Family Services provide ongoing training to foster and adoptive parents throughout the state.

Preparation training is scheduled for Moab starting in June.

For details on how to become a foster parent in southeastern Utah, call UFC’s local representative, Geri Swift, at 435-259-3345, or visit: utahfostercare.org.

Copyright 2013 The Times-Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

report abuse...

Express yourself:

We're glad to give readers a forum to express their points of view on issues important to this community. That forum is the “Letters to the Editor.” Letters to the editor may be submitted directly to The Times-Independent through this link and will be published in the print edition of the newspaper. All letters must be the original work of the letter writer – form letters will not be accepted. All letters must include the actual first and last name of the letter writer, the writer’s address, city and state and telephone number. Anonymous letters will not be accepted.

Letters may not exceed 400 words in length, must be regarding issues of general interest to the community, and may not include personal attacks, offensive language, ethnic or racial slurs, or attacks on personal or religious beliefs. Letters should focus on a single issue. Letters that proselytize or focus on theological debates will not be published. During political campaigns, The Times-Independent will not publish letters supporting or opposing any local candidate. Thank you letters are generally not accepted for publication unless the letter has a public purpose. Thank you letters dealing with private matters that compliment or complain about a business or individual will not be published. Nor will letters listing the names of individuals and/or businesses that supported a cause or event. Thank you letters about good Samaritan acts will be considered at the discretion of the newspaper.