State puts out call for more foster parents
BATON ROUGE - State officials are asking more people to consider becoming foster parents to help find homes for a growing number of children in Louisiana's foster care system.
Sheri Soper is a foster parent of two children. For her and her husband, being foster parents is the way they give back to the community.
"They are thriving and that's what makes you continue to do it," said Soper. "You see that you are providing something for these children that will last a lifetime for them."
Secretary Suzy Sonnier with the Department of Children and Family Services said there are close to 5,000 children in the program today, a 13 percent increase from three years ago.
"We need more homes, we need more families who are willing to say 'I can love a child and I can provide a safe place to be, and I'm in,'" she said.
Sonnier said one of the biggest challenges is finding a home for a child within their community so they're not forced to leave their school or friends.
"Our job is to make sure they have a loving home that is safe and cares for them and that they can feel comfortable," said Sonnier. "Because they're not with the people that they know."
Currently, Louisiana serves 4600 children a month in foster care. Foster parents must meet a number of qualifications, including being 21 or older and having a sufficient income.
Caretakers must have a clean record and attend trainings and orientation. The next orientation for local parents interested in being foster caretakers will be at the East Baton Rouge Office, 160
South Ardenwood, Baton Rouge on Thursday November 5th at 6:00 p.m. There are a number of other orientations coming up in November and December across the state. You can find a list of
locations and times on DCFS's website.