FOSTER LOVE: Pike County in need of more foster homes

Published 3:00 am Sunday, July 28, 2019

By Lauren Johnson

“There are 30 children in the legal custody of the Pike County Department of Human Resources,” Patricia Faircloth the Director of the Pike County DHR said. “Our primary goal is to return children to their parents as quickly and safely as possible, but this isn’t always achievable.”

There are currently 5,651 children in foster care statewide, and over 600 children are waiting to be adopted.

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Faircloth has been with DHR for 15 years and has been the director for the past 2 years.

“At one point we had over 75% of foster children sent out of the county. When I started two years ago as the director, we had 4 foster homes. We’ve been able to double that, but we want to triple it because it is still not enough.”

In Pike County, there are only nine approved DHR foster homes.

Faircloth explained that it is very important to allow children to remain in their communities whenever possible.

“When a child enters foster care, they are often forced to leave their schools, churches, and friends behind in addition to the loss created by the removal from their family,” Faircloth said.

“We are recruiting for foster and adoptive parents to attend the training course, and our goal is to have more approved families than children in need of placement.”

This training course, called Trauma Informed Parenting or TIPS, is a 10-week program designed to provide training to potential foster and adoptive parents about the needs of children who have experienced trauma.

The leading reasons that children are in foster care in Pike County and statewide includes substance abuse and domestic violence. These are the two leading factors contributing to children being placed in foster care.

“Children are being exposed to the dangers of substance abuse at alarming rates,” Faircloth said.

Those who want to become a foster or adoptive parent will have to submit to criminal history clearances, a safety standard in the home, and be of good character.

“There is a need for emergency and respite homes, which is for a weekend, for short term care, or even for one night,” Faircloth said. For more information on becoming a foster or adoptive resource, contact NaTasha Hardy at Pike County DHR.

“We even need more approved daycares in Pike County as well as service providers to meet the needs of the families we serve, whether its substance abuse treatment or counseling,” she said.

Faircloth states there is also a need for volunteers to sponsor children and families with various needs, provide transportation, assist with other activities as they arise, and serve on the local Quality Assurance Committee.

“Not everyone is called to be a foster or adoptive parent, but there are ways that everyone can help.”

Volunteers also must have clear criminal history, be of good character, and complete confidentiality agreements. For volunteers who provide transportation, they will be reimbursed for the mileage.

Throughout the year, there are two months to focus on foster care and adoption.

May is known as National Foster Care Awareness Month. “We use this opportunity to recognize foster parents for their dedication to the children in our community.”

November is known as National Adoption Awareness Month and last year 5 local foster parents completed adoptions.

For more information regarding the services offered by DHR, visit the website

Also, the Alabama Heart Gallery website has picture, videos, and bios of children who are legally free for adoption, meaning the rights have already been terminated on those children and they are looking for their forever families.