In short, a resource parent is someone who is trained and certified to provide respite and foster care and to be both a foster parent and an adoptive parent. Instead of having someone be just one or the other, resource parents can fulfill multiple roles should the need or desire arise.
Foster care provides children of families in crisis with caring, safe and stable places to live. The primary goal of foster care is to meet each child’s basic needs until their families resolve crisis issues and are better able to care for them. Foster parents are important members of a team working to help children reunite with their families. In most cases of out-of-home placement, foster care workers are able to safely reunify children with their birth families. Other times, reunification is impossible, and the best choice is matching them with adoptive parents.
Foster families are needed to provide temporary, safe, stable, and nurturing homes for children to live until they can be reunited with their own families, placed with relatives, or adopted. In addition to caring for children in their homes, our local families have helped in a number of additional ways to help support children in foster care with unique needs. Many times they are helping children who reside with others full-time or live independently. Some examples of these unique needs are:
Foster parents are from all backgrounds, ages, races, income levels and occupations. But all have one thing in common – a heart – a heart for helping children or teenagers who need it most. If you share this trait and would like to give back to the community, serving as a foster parent may be a rewarding experience for you. Foster parents care for children of all ages and races, as well as those with special needs.
Yes, Maryland’s Eastern Shore, like the rest of the State of Maryland,
has a shortage of licensed foster care parents and homes. Because of this shortage, many children in need of foster care receive that care outside of the county they live in – sometimes elsewhere in Maryland or even out-of-state and often in treatment facilities or group homes. Sadly, this means too many children with families in crisis not only leave their homes and families for care, but also just about everything else they know – their schools, their friends and sometimes even their siblings.
On the Mid-Shore, each county Department of Social Services is recruiting foster parents through a variety of marketing efforts. Foster parents in each county also play an important role in helping to recruit new foster parents for each county.
The mission of the Social Services Administration (SSA) is to lead, support and enable local Departments of Social Services in employing strategies to prevent child abuse and neglect, protect vulnerable children, preserve and strengthen families, by collaborating with state and community partners. Maryland Department of Human Services/Social Services Administration (DHS/SSA) provides oversight to 24 local Departments of Social Services. DHS/SSA provides each jurisdiction with the Statewide Recruitment and Retention Plan which is comprised of statewide goals and objectives based on data regarding Maryland’s representation of children in Out-of-Home Placements.
Foster Parents Must:
Prior to taking in any children, foster parents receive 27 hours of extensive, pre-service training. Upon assuming care for a child, foster parents are given monthly stipends to cover costs of the child’s food, clothing, activities and school supplies. Health care services are provided for foster children. Technical and emotional support services are available for foster families throughout the process and caseworkers are available to them 24-hours-a-day. Resource families are also given the opportunity to attend monthly support group meetings, as well as a number of community and appreciation events throughout the year.
Call 410-901-4287 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to express your interest in becoming a licensed foster family.
Individuals, as well as business and faith partners engaged with the Departments of Social Services, help fulfill each department’s mission of protecting children and promoting the safety and well-being of its county’s citizens.
Contact your county Department of Social Services to find out ways you can help in your county.
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