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State seeking potential foster/adoptive parents

Officials with the Division of Child and Family Services are urging potential foster parents to attend a foster/adoptive parent training program beginning early next month.

The training curriculum utilized is called "P.R.I.D.E.", Parent Resources for Information Development and Education.

It consists of nine three-hour sessions designed to educate and equip applicants to provide foster and/or adoptive care to children in the child welfare system.

The Division of Child and Family Services has scheduled the foster/adoptive parent training program for Friday, Oct. 2 from noon to 8 p.m., and Oct. 3-4, from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Training will be held at the Division of Child and Family Services Pahrump district office at 1780 East Basin Avenue, Suite 2.

Licensed social worker and recruiter Lori Nichols said training sessions help prepare interested foster or adoptive caregivers with the information they will need to become successful parents.

"The training addresses many of the unique challenges they may face, and helps them decide whether they are ready to get started in becoming a licensed foster parent," she said. "Many people think for a long time about welcoming a child into their home through foster care or adoption."

Officials said foster and adoptive care needs arise when the safety and protection of a child is not met by their parents or caregiver.

If relatives cannot be located for a child who needs out-of-home placement services, DCFS assists by arranging foster care placement, while the removal of a child from his or her natural environment is taken only as a last resort.

Nichols also noted that foster parents are required to attend pre-service training prior to obtaining a license to become a foster parent.

"A foster family must meet all the minimum licensing standards as established by Nevada Revised Statutes 424," she said. "FBI background checks are conducted on all applicants and residents 18 years of age or older living in the home. After the initial licenses are issued, resource families must complete four hours of advanced training per year in order to keep their license current."

Additionally, licenses must be renewed annually to ensure an acceptable level of care is maintained by the foster parents, while onsite visits to the foster home are made with each renewal license issued.

"Whether you are an older adult or a younger adult, a working or a stay-at-home parent, a homeowner or renter, adoption or foster care may be a good option for you," Nichols said.

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