FOSTER FAMILIES NEEDED
With just over 2,000 certified foster homes serving almost 5000 Louisiana children monthly, the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) is continually looking for foster and adoptive parents to open their hearts and homes to our state’s most vulnerable residents our children.
“Children do best in families. By having foster homes in all areas of the state, children in foster care can stay close to home and in the same school,” says DCFS Secretary Suzy Sonnier.
WHAT IS FOSTER CARE? Foster care is a protective service for children and their parents who must live apart because of child abuse, neglect or special family circumstances requiring the need for out-ofhome care. Foster care is intended to provide temporary/short-term care for a child. The goal of the foster care program is to maintain the child in a safe and nurturing environment, which is supportive of his development while assisting his parents in resuming responsibility and custody or until an alternative permanent placement for the child is found. The first goal of foster care is to reunite the child with his or her biological family.
DCFS recruits year-round for foster families who can provide a loving home and care for a child or children. Children needing foster homes range from infants to teenagers, vary in race and religion and may have an emotional or physical illness, been neglected, abused or abandoned, or have experienced a breakdown in the family, or the death of a parent.
“DCFS is always looking for foster parents and there is especially a need for foster families that are willing and able to take larger sibling groups or children with special needs,” said Sonnier.
Applicants who are interested in becoming a foster parent must be at least 21 years old, have sufficient income to meet their own basic needs and be in good physical, emotional and mental health. A foster parent can be single, married, divorced or widowed.
If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, the first step is to attend an orientation where information on the qualifications, the certification process and an overview of the agency is provided.
DCFS offices in Acadiana:
Lafayette Regional Office Lafayette, LA (337) 262-5970
Vermillion Parish Office Abbeville, LA (337) 898-1430
Acadia Parish Office Crowley, LA (337) 788-7503
Iberia Parish Office New Iberia, LA (337) 373-0026
ST. Landry Parish Office Opelousas, LA (337) 942-0050
To find out more about becoming a foster parent, visit www.dcfs.la.gov/foster and for the full 2015 orientation schedule, visit www.dcfs.la.gov/Orientation.