Bermuda needs more foster parents
The Department of Child and Family Services will host an information session tomorrow in the latest recruitment drive for more foster parents.
The Foster Care Section has an active pool of foster families managing 70 children in the programme but more families are needed to assist in emergencies, respite care and specialised care for children with special needs.
According to Managing Director of The Sunshine League, Dr Glenn Faries, this will be the first of 12 module parent education courses designed to “support and strengthen” foster care services in Bermuda and the community as a whole.
“We are putting on this excellent series to provide foster parents and those individuals wishing to learn more about becoming foster parents, with information and principles which would help them perform in that role to the best of their abilities.
“Many of these principles will also be applicable to those in kinship foster situations, as well as to parents raising their own biological children.
“We welcome participation from the entire community of parents in Bermuda,” said Dr Faries.
Foster care coordinator Selena Simons will lead the first session on becoming a foster or adoptive parent.
“She will be exploring the need for foster parents in Bermuda, including statistics on numbers of children in foster care. She will also provide general information as to the need for foster care, not only in Bermuda but in other jurisdictions as well.”
The steps to be taken to become a foster parent locally will also be laid out for participants to know exactly what it entails.
Dr Faries added: “Other topics will be presented once a month, on the first Thursday of the month (with the exception of January 9, 2014, which is the second Thursday for the next 12 months.
“These topics include ‘Effects of Caregiving' (how fostering can affect the foster family) ‘Nutrition and Fitness', 'Child and Youth development', ‘Keeping Your Child Safe Online', ‘Learning Disabilities' and many more.
“And I am proud to say that we have many partners in the community that will be helping us provide this educational programme.
“Many other charitable organisations and government departments are providing excellent, qualified speakers. And we have the cooperation of the corporate community and The Foster Parent's Association, in supplying us with food and other necessary supplies for these great educational events.
“This truly is a collaborative partnership, and one which we are proud to be spearheading.
“I would definitely encourage anyone that is interested in becoming a foster parent or who has thought about this to contact Ms Simons or myself to find out more information about the seminar,” he said.
“And I would advise all foster parents and any other interested parents to stay tuned for information on the rest of the topics, and when they will be presented.”
The finalised schedule will be posted their website at www.sunshineleague.bm.
For more information about the series e-mail Dr Faries at email@example.com or telephone 292 4360. Ms Simons can be reached at 294-5871 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.