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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Foster families, licensed homes sought

Child and Family Services of New Hampshire is in the process of recruiting foster families to alleviate a statewide shortage of licensed foster homes, officials said.

Though fewer children are in the foster care system now compared to previous years, officials said the need for homes is still great. An estimated 600–900 children will find themselves in need of a foster home this year.

“To be a foster parent, you don’t need to be rich, be a homeowner, be married, already be a parent or have a college degree,” CFSNH’s Michelle Galligan said. “If you have a big heart, a home and a sense of humor, you’ve got some of the key ingredients.”

Most children who enter foster care are removed from their own homes due to parental abuse or neglect, officials said. They range from infants up to 18 years old and come from a wide range of circumstances. The agency’s goal is keeping children as close to home as possible so they can stay in their own school and with their own friends and familiar comforts with the least amount of disruption.

The Department of Health and Human Services recently tabbed CFSNH to lead the recruitment of foster families.

For more information, go to cfsnh.org or call 518-4294.

--DEAN SHALHOUP