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Training aims to recruit rural foster families

When circumstances of abuse or neglect lead to a child being removed from their home, a warm welcome by a loving foster family can make what is a terrible situation all the more easy to bear.

Unfortunately, there simply are not enough foster homes available in rural Nevada, which is why recruitment efforts are imperative for the Nevada Division of Child and Family Services.

This Saturday, potential foster parents will have the opportunity to embark on a training course that will educate them on the many and varied aspects of the foster care system.

“The Nevada Division of Child and Family Services is working to recruit and train foster families in Nevada’s 15 rural counties to support children in need,” a press release issued earlier this week announced. “The four-session online training is designed to help prepare prospective foster parents with sessions covering what life is like in foster homes; licensing steps and keys to success; caring for children who have special needs or have experienced trauma; and working with birth families.”

The sessions will feature several guest speakers with the knowledge and experience to answer any question a person might have about the foster system, including judges, social workers, birth parents and current and former foster parents.

“Foster parents provide the security, safety and stability children entering care desperately need. We encourage those who have considered becoming a foster parent to join this training to learn more about keeping kids safe in rural Nevada,” Rural Foster Care Recruiter Shelby Riley stated.

It’s not just about the children either. Reunification is a major focus for DCFS and Riley noted that foster parents play a vital role in this as well.

“Foster parents are a soft place for children and their families to fall while they are healing,” Riley previously told the Pahrump Valley Times. “They are another person who get to be in that family’s corner while they are rebuilding their lives and they get to that mentorship and that stability that maybe some of these families have never gotten, during what is likely one of the biggest crises of their lives.”

Foster parents can be just about anyone, including single individuals, married couples, full-time and part-time workers and those who rent or own their own home.

“Today, about 400 children are in foster care in rural Nevada and this training and educational opportunity is designed to increase the number of homes available in Nevada’s 15 rural counties,” the press release stated. “Training sessions will be held Saturdays, Jan. 20 through Feb. 10, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Microsoft Teams application, which is available to download for free in the Apple App and Google Play stores.”

Once the training has been completed, participants will be able to move on to the foster care licensure process, which includes completion of a background check and an in-home study with DCFS to ensure the home and family are a good fit for a child in foster care.

Registration for the training sessions, as well as additional information on fostering, can be found at RuralNVFosterCare.com

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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