AKRON, Ohio — On Thursday, Summit County Children Services is hosting a virtual foster care and adoption information meeting. They’re looking to recruit more foster parents to fill the urgent and growing need to find safe homes for children.
The opioid crisis and the pandemic have added to this already difficult process of finding safe homes for children so officials in Summit County wants to clear up any questions for those who may be considering becoming foster families.
“So now we have 11, five bio's and six adopted kids,” Brian and Jane Pearson, foster parents for SCCS
For years, the Pearsons have welcomed foster children into their Summit County home.
“So we already kind of knew that we wanted to be foster parents because our daughters are really what got us into foster parenting,” said Brian.
Now they are hoping to convince others to do the same.
“We've seen all sorts of challenges come into our home. And it's just been a huge blessing to be able to see them grow and mature and make progress,” Jane said.
Summit County Children’s Services says right now over half of the children in foster care are there because they were neglected due to various reasons.
“ So we have nearly eight hundred children in the custody of Summit County Children Services at this time and not near enough foster families. We have about one hundred and eighty foster families,” said Ann Ream, Community Relations for SCCS.
Traci Foley, who’s is also with the organization, says there are fewer people adopting or fostering children because they may not think they qualify.
“You don't have to have a lot of money. You don't have to be married. You don't even have to have a partner. You can have a same-sex partner.”
The goal of the meeting is to teach others about foster care and adoption, including how the process works.
“So you're really looking from start to finish about anywhere between four to six months,” Foley said.
SCCS offers emotional and financial support to foster parents.
“So there's always resources. Whatever you happen to be going through with one of your children, there's probably a training out there that will help you and address that," Brian said.
The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, June 17 at 6 p.m. and will be held via Zoom.
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