Las Animas County Children Need Homes

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic
Article in Chronicle News, Trinidad, CO 2005

Submitted: June 18, 2008

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Submitted: June 18, 2008

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Las Animas County is in need of homes providing foster care for children who can no longer stay at home and adoptive homes for children whose parents have already lost their parental rights. According to the Las Animas County Department of HumanServices, there are currently eight certified foster homes throughout the county with three more nearing the end of the certification process. All but one of the homes currently certified to care for foster kids are caring for the maximum number of children with the added problem that some of these homes are adopting the children currently in their care and will not be accepting more foster children. While this is good news for the children in need of permanent placement, the county will be losing these homes for other children in need. According to the Las Animas of the Department of HumanServices, there is a definite need for more foster homes in the community.

Becoming a foster parent is a multi-step process. Everyone must attend an informative orientation where prospective parents learn how foster care works and what to expect. Topics covered by the orientation include working with caseworkers, expectations of foster parents and the resources and assistance available to foster parents. After submitting an application, future foster parents are required to attend training classes aimed at helping new foster parents make the most of their and the children’s time together. The majority of foster children enter the system due to abuse and/or neglect. The training classes prepare the parents to help the children cope with the issues that follow. The family assessment or “home study” is the final step of certification. A caseworker worker visits the home and conducts one on one interviews with members of the home to gather information on family dynamics, backgrounds and values.

The process for becoming an adoptive parent is the same with the added step of finding a waiting child that fits the family structure. There are currently children available for adoption in Las Animas County and as with foster children, homes are needed for placement. Needing more adoptive homes is a national problem. As of June 2002, the latest year statistics are available for, there were more than 134,000 children in foster care in the U.S. Most are older than five and may have siblings who need to be adopted together. According to a survey sponsored by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption in conjunction with the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, 39% of American adults have considered adoption. If less than 1% of these adults actually adopted a child every child in foster care would have a home. Two-thirds of Americans have a favorable opinion of adoption, yet many children are still awaiting permanent placement. Many adults who have considered adopting a child from foster care have concerns about birth parents taking the child back though statistically it rarely happens. Also concerning to Americans is cost, but foster care/adoption is generally inexpensive and in many cases can be used as a tax credit. There is also an Adoption Incentives Grant Fund that is sometimes available to help offset the cost of an adoption for families. For more information on foster care and adoption contact the Las Animas County Department of HumanServices or www.changealifeforever.org.


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