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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Foster Homes Needed at Kamiah



Vista Volunteer Mickey Radon sees it time and time again. Kids in need of foster care placement in Kamiah must be placed elsewhere because no homes are available in their central Idaho town.
In her role as liaison between the community, agencies and churches that provide services for foster children, it troubles her to see children experiencing the trauma of being removed from their homes and everything they’re familiar with.
These kids have gone through a great loss.” she said. “What’s worse is suffering from the unknown. They don’t know where they are going to live, who they are going to live with, who their friends are going to be or what school they are going to.”
Helping children who are faced with this loss of family is not new to Radon because she is a foster parent and recently adopted a second foster child. Radon and other child welfare advocates would like to share their knowledge and experiences during informational meetings for potential foster or adoptive parents, and faith communities.
The meetings are scheduled for Thursday, June 20 at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. at the Kamiah Community Presbyterian Church located at 620 7th Street in Kamiah.
Julie Garner, who works for the Idaho Child Welfare Research and Training Center, said there is always a need for more foster families, but the problem in Kamiah is a little more complicated. She calls it the “domino effect.” When no home is available in a child’s community, she has to start looking at the next town, and the next, until a placement is found.
“The outlying areas like Kamiah are the toughest for us,” she said. “We have fewer homes there, so they have to start placing children in Lewiston or even Moscow. When a child comes into care, we need homes available that allows a child to stay in the community, to maintain their school and service connections.”
One of the primary goals of foster care is the reunification of children with their birth parents. When the domino effect occurs, the long distances between parent and child are detrimental to these efforts and threaten families being reunited, she said. “I always tell people we’re looking for people who have the heart to foster,” Garner said.
Garner expressed enthusiasm for a relatively new program offered by the state, called One Church, One Child. Faith communities have historically provided support and services for foster children, foster families and birth families, Garner said. The One Church, One Child program creates a bridge between the children and families served by the state and the churches seeking to help them.
The program seeks to recruit individuals and families within communities of faith to become licensed foster parents or adoptive parents and mobilize congregations to provide for the needs of foster children and their birth families.
For more information please contact Mickey Radon at [208] 935-0353 or email:radonm@dwh.idaho.gov
**This is a reprint of an article first published (2013, June 13), Foster homes needed at Kamiah.The Clearwater Progress p.2



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