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The Nevada Division of Child and Family Services is holding a foster parent information night on Wednesday, March 7 at Fremont Elementary School from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
The idea is for community members to learn about how to become a foster parent, and why Carson City and its foster youth are in desperate need of more foster families.
Attendees will receive information about what the Division of Child and Family Services does, its role in the community, and its partnership with other local agencies that serve children and families.
At the March 7 event, attendees will also hear from professionals with the Division of Child and Family Services, the Carson City District Attorney’s Office, the Court Appointed Special Advocate Program, and a current foster parent.
They will discuss what the DCFS does and how the court handles child abuse and neglect cases, the need for quality foster homes, and how community members can better support foster youth.
A question/answer session with the panel will follow.
Below is a letter, entitled “A Foster Child’s Perspective of Why You Should Be a Foster Parent,” written by an actual foster child who is now an adult in college:
"Ever since I was eight and placed into the foster system, I wanted a family. I never thought I would get a 'forever' family, but when I least expected it some very special people came into my life.
"Through them, I have learned how to love, be loved and grow. To me, it means more than just a stable home, it’s a dream come true to this teenager that needed a chance, or two, or twenty.
"When I least expected it, my adoptive parents came into my life and were exactly what I had been waiting for. Being a part of that family gives me such happiness and joy. I can be myself and then will continually support me, even now that I am in college.
"They are my biggest fans and the first people I tell when good things happen, or when things go wrong.vThey care about me more than anyone has and that means the world to me.
"It’s been a hard road to travel — these years in foster care. I had dozens of different families, but felt disposable. I never experienced the true family experience that all my friends seemed to have.
"I would be envious of friends comfortable in their own homes, because I always struggled fitting into my foster homes. I never had family vacations, baby pictures up on the wall and photo albums with my pictures in them, like they did.
"It was hard and it made me hard. As a teen in foster care, I had tears filled with anger and frustration. At times, I was not nice to my foster parents and caseworkers because I had a hard time trusting people. I built a wall inside of me that helped block my emotions from others — and it worked for years. Just because we have walls, doesn’t mean they can’t be torn down.
"Allow me to express myself without judgement and loving me for who I was helped those walls to eventually crumble. It took time to overcome the trials of my past and I am still overcoming them daily.
"I just need the support, nourishment and love necessary for the flower to finally take root, waiting there for so long to grow.
"I am strong, resilient and smart — unbreakable really. So, next time you hear about 'teens in foster care,' think about me. I was given a chance (or two), and I am overcoming my past and influencing the world for the better."
According to the Division of Child and Family Services, the growing opioid epidemic, as well as the use of methamphetamine and other drugs in Carson City, the demand will only increase for quality homes that can care for children affected by neglect and abuse as the result.
If you would like more information about the licensing process to foster in Carson City and Rural Nevada, please call Lori Nichols at (775) 684-1967 or toll-free at 888-423-2659.
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Source : https://carsonnow.org/story/03/02/2018/carson-city-foster-family-shortage-letter-former-foster-child-now-college