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Local children need foster families

There continues to be a high need for foster families to care for Hamilton area children and youth who are not able to live with their families. There is a critical need for families to provide care for infants and toddlers.

More than 180 families provide foster care services for children in the care of The Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton. There are, however, more than 600 children, from newborn to ages 16 and up, in the care of the agency. More caregivers are needed, especially for children under age five.

Caring for a child under age five would best suit a stay-at-home parent or possibly a parent who works from home, explains Rachel Threlkeld, co-ordinator of Homes for Kids, Hamilton CAS’s foster parent recruitment program.

“It is becoming more and more challenging to find stay-at-home parents,” she says, adding there seems to be a greater tendency toward stay-at-home parents in rural areas. “It’s partly for that reason that we are working hard to get our message out to outlying communities, such as Stoney Creek, Mount Hope, Ancaster and Flamborough, for example.”

Last year, the agency opened 37 new foster homes. The agency hopes to open at least another 30 homes this year. Foster parents are single parents and couples, including LGBT, with and without children of their own. They come from all strata of society and all cultural backgrounds, says Threlkeld, noting what they hold in common is a profound commitment to children.

“Foster families are our silent partners and the backbone of child welfare,” says Dominic Verticchio, executive director of Hamilton CAS.  “They give of themselves, their families and their homes every day to make a difference in the lives of these children and our community.”

Homes for Kids will hold a foster parent recruitment night on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 7 p.m. to 9:15 p.m., at The Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton, 26 Arrowsmith Rd.  Couples and individuals, including LGBT and from all cultural and ethnic backgrounds, are welcome.

For information, contact Rachel at (905) 546-KIDS (5437), e-mail rthrelkeld@hamiltoncas.com or visit www.homesforkids.com.

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