By Peggy Hinds
Interim Executive Director
Several weeks ago, I attended the Open Hearts Open Homes Summit hosted by Governor and Mrs. Bevin and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS). Gov. and Mrs. Bevin have a heart for children and particular those who await adoption. The Open Hearts Open Homes campaign is intended to encourage more families to consider providing foster care and adoption. He is inviting faith communities to become involved in foster care family support and community education.
To that end, I have been in contact with CHFS to get more information to share with you. Social Service Specialist Michelle Jones sent the following:
Many times, there are meetings that need to be held either for foster parents, a foster parent training, or a case planning meeting for a family that our agency is working with. We are reaching out to churches to see if we could utilize any meeting rooms they might have that might be available for these types of things
Also, if a congregation is interested in learning more about how members can become foster or adoptive parents, we would be able to come to the church and conduct a meeting just with that specific congregation.
There are many different types of moves that can occur when a child is placed in out of home care. When they are removed from their birth home, they may move to a foster home. During their time in out of home care, they might move from foster home to foster home. They could also move from foster home to an adoptive home. When they are moved, they often have to carry their belongings from placement to placement in garbage bags. We never want any child to feel like they are trash, but can you imagine the message this sends. In an effort to ensure that no child ever has their belongings placed in a garbage bag, we are asking churches to have a Duffle Bag Fundraiser. We do ask that each bag be new and unused.
For more information on how your congregation can help support foster care and adoption, or participate in a Duffle Bag Fundraiser, contact Michelle Jones at 502-564-2147 ext. 3579. She will put you in touch with a CHFS representative for your region of the state. Visit the KY foster care and adoption website at http://adopt.ky.gov.