FOSTER CHILDREN IN NEED OF HOMES: SOLUTION TO BE OFFERED
04/04/2013

OKC Agency Seeks Foster Parents in Garvin and McClain Counties

Online PR News – 04-April-2013 – Oklahoma City, OK – Access to Counseling Services is offering a new program to assist families interested in becoming foster homes for children in need. Interested families can begin applying now by contacting the Access to Counseling Services offices at 405.242.2242.

Access to Counseling Services, is striving to provide a sufficient amount of foster homes for up to 88 children in Garvin and McClain counties by June 2013. The Access to Counseling Services Foster Program will develop Bridge Resource Families through a training program that includes options focused on decreasing the likelihood of abuse and neglect.

Executive Director of Access to Counseling Services, Tammy Vaughn, knows a little about foster parenting herself. “When asked what made you consider fostering, the first answer that always comes to my mind is, "Why not?" As a baby boomer with my grown children out of the home and remaining young enough to have the energy to still parent, I couldn't imagine not affording a child an opportunity. The surprise was that I thought I was giving the children an opportunity and found out that, truly, the children gave me so much! While I will never sugar-coat the difficulties, I can tell prospective foster families, I have no regrets.”

Access to Counseling Services is looking for foster care applicants who live in either Garvin or McClain counties from a variety of different homes to suit the children’s ethnic and cultural backgrounds. There is a particular need for homes for sibling groups or kids with special needs.

“Foster home development has traditionally been an activity of OKDHS. As part of the Pinnacle Plan, this activity has been moved to private providers through a competitive bidding process,” said Vaughn. “Access to Counseling Services is proud to have been selected for McClain and Garvin counties. We are stressing evidence-based approaches to the program and innovative or creative processes that have been successfully used in other states.”

The children selected for placement come from a variety of locations, including shelters operated by OKDHS, Emergency Foster Care Programs, Youth Service Shelters, and others.

One of the most common reasons foster parents give for quitting is the failure of the agency to give adequate support. Access to Counseling Services is dedicated to providing ongoing support and training during accessible hours to improve the experience of Bridge Resource Families.

Access to Counseling Services has extensive experience addressing trauma with children. They are a Trauma-Informed Center through the National Council for Behavioral Health, with clinicians specializing in multiple different areas of practice.

Interested participants will be asked to:
• Provide care, love and nurturing to children school age, teens, medically fragile, ages six and under, as well as any combination of the above and large sibling groups.
• Serve as a mentor actively helping the parent improve their ability to safely care for their children while staying connected and assisting in the transition to reunification, legal guardianship or adoption to another family.
• Serve as the legal guardian for the child while maintaining a child’s connection to kin, culture and community.
• If they desire, adopt a child while maintaining a child’s connection to kin, culture and community.

Foster Care Statistics

Sources: http://bit.ly/m2eySJ and http://bit.ly/Keu27C

• More than 9,000 children in foster care in Oklahoma, from newborn to 17 years old
• 49 percent of the foster care children are under the age of five
• More than 1,900 children are waiting for permanent adoptive families
• In 2008, over 500 youth aged out of foster care and never received a permanent home

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If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with an employee at Access to Counseling Services, please call Wesley Jones at 405.242.2242 or email at mrwesley@access2counseling.com. To learn more about the agency, visit the agency’s websites or social media pages listed below:

access2counseling.com – facebook.com/accesstocounseling – twitter.com/a2c_okc