Deciding to be a foster or adoptive parent is not something one should do lightly. It takes commitment, time, and people who are financially and emotionally stable. As someone who talks to people daily about foster care, I’m impressed with those who have soul searched and researched to make an informed decision about whether fostering or adopting is right for them.

Utah Foster Care (www.utahfostercare.org" onclick="dpSmartLink(this.href,'blankWin',0,0,'z:z','all');return document.MM_returnValue">www.utahfostercare.org) is happy to announce foster parent training coming to Kanab this December for those families wanting to become foster parents. This training is free of charge. While many people have heard about foster care, most are unaware of the need or how to become involved. In addition, many may have misperceptions or a lack of understanding of how the program works.

To help inform community members about this wonderful program, we are having a “Lunch and Learn” in Kanab this coming Friday, November 18, 12-1 p.m., at the Local Division of Child and Family Services building (329 S. 350 E. #3). While enjoying lunch, you will have the opportunity to meet other foster parents, ask questions, and listen to a brief presentation about how fostering and adopting works.

When becoming a foster and adoptive parent, you have a lot of flexibility. For instance, you can specify a number of different things regarding children placed in your home, including the age or gender of the child, if you will take a sibling group, and what types of behavioral issues you are willing to work with. With over 2600 children in Utah in foster care and only about 1300 licensed families available to take in these children, there is an ongoing need for additional foster and adoptive parents.

There is a great need for foster families in rural areas like Kanab. When a child is placed in foster care, and there is no local foster family, it means the child will have to leave all that is familiar; such as friends and schools, in addition to the trauma of being removed from their home. It makes things much easier for everyone if they are able to stay with a family in their community.

If you’d like to attend the Lunch and Learn or the December foster parent training, please contact Ben Ashcraft at 435-216-3294 or ben.ashcraft@utahfostercare.org. You can also check out our website at www.utahfostercare.org. We look forward to hearing from you!