A variety of topics were discussed during a recent Office of Homelessness Assistance and Poverty Prevention meeting, with one topic focusing on the current foster situation the island is facing daily.
PNC’S Althea Engman has more.
Currently, there are 67 active and licensed foster parents on the island, and according to Maefe Muyco, the supervisor at social services, although we have all those foster parents, we continue to need more licensed homes to accommodate all the foster kids coming into the system.
Muyco said, “We are getting applications we had great support this past year from the Mayor’s council; we received over 25 applications. Even though we license them, we have to keep in mind that we have all those who also have PCS apps, and we’ve lost foster families, but we are doing the best we can.”
Additionally, with the 583 foster kids on an island, there are over 300+ children with relative placement, which is the first thing they look into when placing a child into a safe home.
Muyco said, “It’s an emotionally traumatic experience for every child to go through, so we always try to identify and look to family placement first before we outsource and look for alternative placement.”
Moreover, DPHSS wants to ensure that these family placements are safe; to do that; they must conduct a thorough background check.
Although the application to become a foster parent can be intimidating because of the lengthy requirements, including financial and medical background, home assessments, interviews, three records of recommendations, police background, court clearance, child abuse, and neglect registry check, and so on, DPHSS wants to ensure that the homes they place the children in are in a safe and nurturing environment according to Maefe Muyco.
Moreover, Social Services continues to work with Harvest house and wants to let the community know that they provide informational meetings every last Thursday of the month for those interested in becoming foster parents.
Reporting for PNC News
I’m Althea Engman