There is such a large need for foster parents in the Rockford area, said Cliff Johnson, Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI) foster parent development specialist. We encourage people with a desire to care for and work with children, and who may be interested in becoming a foster parent, to contact us.
Children of all agesespecially older childrenare in need of safe, loving homes. Some children may require short-term placements, while others may require long-term or adoptive placements.
There is also a special need for foster parents for sibling groups.
If children in need of foster placement come from a large family, we obviously want to keep all the brothers and sisters together, Johnson said. It lessens the impact of being away from their birth parents, if they can be in the same home together.
Married or single applicants are welcome. LSSI provides training and support to prepare foster parents prior to welcoming a child into their home. The successful candidate must have a source of income, available bedroom space for the child(ren) and the ability to respond to childrens needs.
If you have a genuine interest in children, are willing to commit to them and want to help families reunite, please consider foster parenting, Johnson said.
Founded in 1867, LSSI is a statewide, not-for-profit social service agency of the three Illinois synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. LSSIs services include counseling, mental health programs, substance abuse treatment, residential treatment for children and adolescents, early childhood education and child care services, programs for adults and children with developmental disabilities, foster care and adoption, pregnancy counseling, housing and services for older adults and individuals with disabilities, nursing care, and programs for prisoners and their families.
For more information about foster parenting, call Clifford Johnson at 815-969-8836; or 1-888-322-LSSI (5774). For more information about LSSI, visit www.LSSI.org.
From the May 17-23, 2006, issue