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State steps up efforts to recruit foster parents
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May is Foster Care Month and the Georgia Department of Human Services' Division of Family and Children Services is stepping up their efforts to urge more Georgians to become foster parents. DFCS county offices across the state are sponsoring foster parent appreciation and family activities, information fairs, seminars and training sessions to recruit future foster parents.

"Our goal for the children in our care is permanent placement in a safe and nurturing environment. For some children that means returning to their birth parents with supports in place, for others the goal becomes adoption," said DFCS State Director Rachelle Carnesale.

In July 2003, there were approximately 14,481 children in foster care in Georgia. There are now just over 7,000 children in Georgia foster care. We have a growing need to place children with physical or other special needs in appropriate homes.

"Recruitment and training of our foster parents is a primary focus of our agency with an overwhelming majority of DFCS adoptions by foster parents," added Carnesale. "Foster parents are champions for Georgia's children and the heroes of the child welfare system."

Requirements to become a foster or adoptive parent are
• Completion of an orientation session and a 20-hour, pre-service parent preparation program (IMPACT)
• Home study (family assessment)
• Home safety inspection
• Medical examination
• Drug screen
• Criminal records check
• References

To view a full list of activities/events taking place in recognition of Foster Care Month go to For more information about adoption or foster care, please call (877) 210-KIDS, or Jan Ballard (770) 784-2424 or Ashley Doherty (770)784-2430 at Newton Co DFCS.