PNS Daily Newscast - July 3, 2020 

Economists say coronavirus disaster declarations may be the quickest path to reopening; militia groups use virus, Independence Day to recruit followers.

2020Talks - July 3, 2020 

Trump visits South Dakota's Black Hills, Mt. Rushmore today; nearby tribal leaders object, citing concerns over COVID-19 and a fireworks display. Plus, voter registration numbers are down from this time in 2016.

National Spotlight on Foster Care Parents' Support for Families

People with full-time jobs are encouraged to participate in the state's foster care system, where training and ongoing support is available. (USDOD)
People with full-time jobs are encouraged to participate in the state's foster care system, where training and ongoing support is available. (USDOD)
May 16, 2019

OMAHA, Neb. – May is National Foster Care Month, and the Nebraska Children's Home Society is working to bring more potential families into the state's foster care system by removing barriers to participation.

This year's theme is "Foster Care as a support for families, not a substitute for parents," and Christina Wright, resource development supervisor for the Nebraska Children's Home Society, says all Nebraskans can play a part in enhancing the lives of children and youths in foster care, especially for older children.

According to Nebraska's Department of Health and Human Services, in 2018 more than 5,000 children were in need of care.

"Most of those children and youths being older, and so we need families and individuals who are willing to provide temporary care to children 12 to 18 years old, many of those children who have experienced trauma," Wright states.

Wright says the biggest barriers to participation are misconceptions about what it actually means to be a foster parent.

Many people think it's about saving children from their families, but Wright says foster care actually is meant to be a temporary intervention that leads to reuniting families.

Wright encourages anyone interested to contact the Society, set up a meeting to learn more, and get answers for all family members before deciding whether to take the next step.

Wright says another misconception is that foster parents are left to figure it out on their own.

She points out that in addition to providing comprehensive advance training, her group also is on call for ongoing support.

She says people with full-time jobs can participate – you don't have to commit to being a stay-at-home mom or dad, and she adds that potential parents do have a say in which child they are matched up with.

"Once we determine that we're a good match to move forward, we provide families with an extensive 12-week training on the role of being a foster parent, what to kind of expect in the foster care system," she explains.

Wright says most foster parents report that the benefits, including helping out the community at large, and experiencing significant personal growth, far outweigh any challenges.

She says many have said it's helped them see their family dynamic in a new light.

"You know it's a really rewarding feeling knowing that they've not only made a difference in the life of a child, but that child's family as well,” she states. “Some of the parents that have gone through the training say that going through the training has made them a better parent."

Disclosure: Nebraska Children’s Home Society contributes to our fund for reporting. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Eric Galatas, Public News Service - NE