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County seeks residents for adoption, foster care

Crow Wing County Community Services is seeking residents who wish to adopt children in foster care. Fourteen children in Crow Wing County currently do not have adoptive homes, and a total of 489 children in Minnesota need adoptive families immedi...

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"We are always looking for qualified people to provide foster care and also for those who might be interested in adoption," stated Lynda Erickson, community services supervisor, in the release. "At this time, we have 68 licensed foster homes and 130 children placed out of their home in foster care or another setting. There is a tremendous need for more homes." BrainerdDispatch.com Illustration

Crow Wing County Community Services is seeking residents who wish to adopt children in foster care.

Fourteen children in Crow Wing County currently do not have adoptive homes, and a total of 489 children in Minnesota need adoptive families immediately, a news release stated. The Minnesota Department of Human Services is working with its partners, including Crow Wing County, to connect families looking to adopt with kids needing a forever home. In 2015, Minnesota families adopted 662 children from the foster care system.

When courts terminate parental rights, children are placed in foster care and committed to the guardianship of the state. The goal is to find permanent homes, preferably through adoption, for all children under state guardianship. The county is responsible for identifying children's needs, finding an adoptive family and facilitating the adoption process. In 2015, Crow Wing facilitated the adoption of 10 children, the release stated.

"We are always looking for qualified people to provide foster care and also for those who might be interested in adoption," stated Lynda Erickson, community services supervisor, in the release. "At this time, we have 68 licensed foster homes and 130 children placed out of their home in foster care or another setting. There is a tremendous need for more homes."

Children in out-of-home placement cannot live with their parents because of child neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, substance abuse or mental health concerns of the parents, or due to their own behavioral issues.

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By state law, child foster homes must be licensed according to the standards set forth by DHS. The licensing process takes approximately three to six months. To apply, a person must be 21 years old and pass a criminal background study, which includes fingerprinting for anyone older than 18 in their household and background studies of anyone older than 13 in the household. Foster parents can be single or married, rent or own a home, and employed full time or part time.

There is a monthly stipend to cover the foster child's expenses. All children in foster care are automatically eligible for medical assistance. There is also eligibility for the Women, Infants and Children program for children younger than 5 and free lunch for school-age children. Individuals and families who apply to be foster parents are given training and support before, during and after they are licensed.

Foster parents complete an orientation, child car seat training, SIDS/shaken baby training and children's mental health training, which is all provided by Crow Wing County. After becoming licensed, foster homes are required to have 12 hours of training per year.

"The need for families who can foster sibling groups is great at this time," Erickson noted in the release. "Crisis homes that take children on short notice for short periods of time are also in demand."

Erickson added Crow Wing County is also looking for permanency homes for children. Permanency means that if for some reason the child cannot be reunified with a parent or relative, the foster parent may adopt the child.

Related Topics: CROW WING COUNTY
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