Viewpoint: Foster Care Month celebrates families who ‘answer the call’

MEGHAN FLANDERS
Resource coordinator, Vermont Department for Children and Families, Family Services Division, Burlington District Office

May is Foster Care Month, a time to celebrate the hundreds of foster and kinship foster families in Vermont who provide safe, nurturing homes for children while they can’t be at home. It is with deep appreciation that the Family Services Division of the Department for Children and Families thanks them for their generosity, caring and willingness to “answer the call,” no matter when it comes.
Thank you for all you do to keep children safe, support parents and help families stay connected! You help us keep local kids local by opening your hearts and homes to children in need. Without you, children would have to live outside of their communities and away from all that’s familiar.
We’d like to take this opportunity to let you know about our need for more foster families. With over 1,300 children in foster care throughout Vermont, and 200 children in custody in our district alone, we need families for children of all ages and experiences, including:
• Infants, toddlers and teens
• Siblings who want to stay together
• Children with complex medical needs
• LGBTQ youth
• Teens transitioning from foster care to living on their own
If providing foster care is not right for you at this time, consider providing respite care. It’s much like foster care but for shorter periods of time (e.g., a few hours, a day, a weekend, or a week or two). Respite provides foster parents opportunities to relax, re-energize and attend to additional responsibilities.
For more information about becoming a foster parent or respite provider, please contact resource coordinators Cathy Frost, 802-951-0020 or Meghan Flanders, 802-951-0021; assistant district director Anita Thomason, 802-951-5165; or district director Beth Maurer, 802-951-0033 or visit us on the web at www.fostercare.vt.gov.

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