May is National Foster Care Month. The immeasurable and ongoing gifts of time and caring given by foster families in El Paso County are greatly appreciated and deserve public thanks.
The month is an opportunity to acknowledge foster parents, family members, volunteers, mentors, policymakers, child welfare professionals, and other members of the community who help children and youth in foster care find permanent homes and connections. The Department of Human Services is one agency of many dedicated entities, non-profits and individuals working together to protect children and strengthen families.
“Children deserve and benefit safe and nurturing environments,” said El Paso County Executive Director of Human Services Julie Krow. “Child protection staff and our community partners fill critical roles in the process, and foster families offer enduring, positive relationships for children. There is always a need for foster families willing to open their hearts. Children thrive when they are with families and El Paso County DHS seeks to keep children with parents, kin, or foster families whenever it is safely possible to do so.”
Foster families provide secure, stable places to call home until children in foster care can either safely reunite with their parents or establish other lifelong family relationships.
On any given day this year in El Paso County, about 575 children are living in out-of-home care, which includes kin and foster homes. It is a priority to keep siblings together and in their neighborhoods.
The Department of Human Services (DHS) works in partnership with local Child Placement Agencies (CPAs), involved families and extended families, schools, faith and civic organizations, law enforcement and the judiciary toward the goal of positively affecting the lives of children in foster care. El Paso County DHS licenses a select number of specialized foster homes to meet the needs of older youth who require an extra layer of support and services.
“DHS staff, foster families and community partners who are part of such important work make an immeasurable impact on the lives of children and families in our communities,” Krow said.
Those interested in learning more about becoming a foster home can visit the DHS foster website, www.elpasoco.com/fostercare.