Training class for prospective

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 31, 2001

adoptive, foster care parents set


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According to a popular song, "What the world needs is love, love, love."

And, those who have more love to give by taking a child into their home, either through adoption or foster care, are invited to participate in a Group Preparation and Service (GPS) training class at Brundidge United Methodist Church beginning June 5.

Laura Hollis, Therapeutic Foster Care caseworker for the United Methodist Children’s Home, will be conducting the 30-hour training class, which will meet each Tuesday from 6 until 9 p.m. from June 5 through Aug. 7.

Hollis said the class is required for anyone who is considering state adoption or is interested in becoming a foster parent or a therapeutic foster parent.

However, participation in the class does not commit a person

to either adoption or foster care.

"The State of Alabama currently has more than 4,000 children in custody," Hollis said. "At the present time, there are only 1,736 licensed foster care homes statewide. The need for foster homes is quite urgent. Gov. Don Siegelman proclaimed May as Foster Parent Appreciation Month, not only to say thanks to all those families who are providing foster care, but also as a means to increase awareness of the need for foster families."

Hopefully, the increased awareness will be incentive for people to want to learn more about foster care and then become foster parents as a result, Hollis said.

"We now have 14 foster care homes in Pike County," she said. "Ten of those are foster homes with the Department of Human Resources and four of them are therapeutic foster care homes with the United Methodist Children’s Home. The need is extreme for therapeutic homes."

Family Finders is a collaborative effort of social service agencies working to recruit and train foster and adoptive families for children in custody of the State of Alabama Department of Human Resources.

"Because Pike County is in dire need of foster care homes, Kelly Sanders, recruiter for Family Finders, is working with us to recruit and train adoptive and foster care parents," Hollis said.

Anyone who is considering adoption or foster care is encouraged to attend the orientation class June 5 at Brundidge United Methodist Church, which is located on North Main Street in downtown Brundidge.

"Some people come to the class not really sure which kind of care they would like to provide or the kind of care for which they are best suited," Hollis said. "Some come not totally sure they want to be involved in either. The class is a way to learn about adoption and foster care and the many benefits of taking a child into your home and into your care."

Hollis said prospective parents must meet eligibility requirements which are outlined during the training class.

"There is some difference between the requirements for foster and therapeutic foster care," Hollis said. "These differences sometimes are the determining factor in the type care a person provides."

There is no fee for the

GPS training class. Baby sitting will be provided when needed and a light meal with be served at each of the 10 classes.

For more information or to register call Laura Hollis at

807-6145 or Kelly Sanders at 807-6183.

There is no deadline for registration. Registration may be done the first night of the class, Tuesday, June 5.