Recruiting Foster Families

on 05 August 2015

 

Finding resource parents for Philadelphia's children

Kevin Lockett writes about his work finding safe, nurturing homes for children and youth.

Philadelphia is the greatest city in the world with the greatest children and youth in the world. Of course, for our children to reach the potential of their greatness, they need to be nurtured in safe, loving environments.

This is why I've dedicated much of my life – as a teacher, youth ministry worker, tutor, tour guide, and, currently, as a recruiter of foster parents with Turning Points for Children – to building environments in which young people can strive.

Since March 2014 I have been working as a Resource Home Coordinator for Turning Points for Children. In plain English, I recruit foster parents. Many children cannot find the safety and support they need to succeed in their homes. Many of these children end up in the foster care system. I have the privilege of helping to find safe, loving, stable care for them.

In Philadelphia, there are over 5,000 children and youth in foster care. Turning Points for Children operates Community Umbrella Agencies (CUAs) in Lower Northeast and West/Southwest Philadelphia. In our Lower Northeast CUA, where I work, there are over 500 families with children receiving either in-home or foster care services.

That may sound dire, and it is a really serious situation, but the truth is I find my job exciting and encouraging. I have met so many people who are working hard to move our city in the right direction for our children. I've talked to foster parents who sacrifice so much to share love with children in need.

At our most recent Resource Parent Orientation I got to meet multiple families who were excited about the chance to foster teens who just need a little bit of love and encouragement. We were also joined by a current Resource Parent who is enjoying providing care for two young children. Two teens currently in foster care shared with the applicants that, as a result of the support they have received from Turning Points for Children and their Resource Parents, they are thriving in life and on a path towards success.

Our Resource Parents take on a tremendous responsibility. They go through a rigorous training and screening process just to get certified. They provide care for children they do not know and must act in the role of a parent, even though they do not have full parental privileges. I am always impressed by the passion and willingness with which our applicant parents approach these responsibilities.

Recruiting resource parents is tough work, but with every week that passes I'm reminded that right here in our city there are awesome people with big hearts. Resource Parents sacrifice their own comfort and convenience to provide the hope of brighter futures for children who's present situations seem dark.

You too can be a resource parent. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to learn more.

To make a gift in honor of resource parents, click here.