Meeting to show the path to adopting a foster child

Published 7:00 am Friday, January 27, 2017

In Mississippi, there are over 5,500 children in foster care, according to the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services. To help these children find a stable and nurturing family, Southern Christian Services for Children and Youth, Inc. is holding an informational meeting to educate people about the basics of becoming a licensed foster or adoptive parent, Senior Recruitment Specialist Tana Walker said.
“A lot of people think about adopting or fostering, but they never take that additional step. At this meeting, there are no strings attached. It’s just our way to help those interested in taking that step to help these children find a stable family they can call their own,” she said.
Tuesday’s meeting will feature portraits of approximately 50 children in Mississippi available for adoption through the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services. The photos will be part of the Mississippi Heart Gallery exhibit, a branch of Southern Christian Services. Also, photo cards will be available for participants, which include a picture of the child on one side and a brief biography on the other side.
“We are here for the kids,” Walker said. “I have worked in this field for almost 30 years, and it still gives me goose bumps when one of the kids find that family. It’s the highlight of my career seeing that happen. I want to make sure every kid gets to experience a place they can call home; a place where they can heal and be nurtured in a stable environment.”
Walker said many children in foster care eligible for adoption, ranging from 2 to 18-years-old, have suffered from abuse, neglect, abandonment or come from families where extreme drug abuse is common.
“A stable nurturing placement is critical. Every kid needs that forever family, regardless of age,” Walker said. “It doesn’t matter if you are 14-months-old or 14-years-old, you still need a supporting family. I know I haven’t outgrown the need for my family; have you?”
To get involved, interested parties must obtain a fostering and adoptive license, which involves training and extensive background checks to ensure the child’s safety, Walker said.
The first step to becoming licensed is to call Tana Walker at 601-528-2233, and set up training.
The informational meeting will be held at the Margaret Reed Crosby Memorial Library at 900 Goodyear Boulevard in Picayune from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

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