Fostering youth of the future

The Southern Ute Social Services division is looking ahead to a busy and eventful year. The division recently hosted their first Foster Parent Recruitment Night of the 2019 year. The night provided interested families with the necessary steps that they have to take and how to start the recruitment stages. The foster care program plans to host more events like this throughout the year to help recruit and retain foster parents and childcare providers.

Starting the recruitment process strong, “the foster care program gained four interested families who have already started the fostering stages,” said Lisa Frost, Tribal Social Services Foster Care Coordinator.

The interest sparked after the community members attended the Foster Parent Recruitment night at the Southern Ute Multi-Purpose Facility on Wednesday, April 17.
“Social Services is [currently] in need of full-time foster homes, emergency placement and respite care foster parents. Full time parents can range from a couple of months to over a year, while emergency and respite parents are only needed for a few days or weeks a year,” explained Frost.

“We are in the highest need for any type of foster homes,” Frost said. Within the boundaries of the Southern Ute Reservation, there is only one certified foster family. This foster home currently assists the Social Services Division with all emergent incidents, trauma situations and child safety concerns.
In order to be considered, at least one of the potential foster parents must be a member of a federally recognized tribe. “Any Southern Ute tribal member or Native American interested can call me, nobody is excluded,” Frost expressed. “A priority for the division is the training and licensing of Native American families—the tribal division of Social Services is able to license Tribal foster homes ‘in house’,” Frost stated.

To begin the process, a complete foster care application must be completed, as well as a home assessment and through background check. “The home assessments are conducted both inside and out of the home to ensure that it is a safe environment for children,” Frost explained.

Foster care is necessary because it helps the development and nurtures the well-being of children and youth. “You’re not alone in the process, the program provides foster care trainings, parenting classes, incentives and talking circles to build and support successful foster families,” Frost stated. “Foster parents do not have to be wealthy—they only need to have a stable, healthy lifestyle and desire to help children.”
The foster program works with parents and families to figure out how to best fit the needs of the children and the caretakers. “Becoming a licensed foster care home and housing children, you are compensated,” Frost stated. “We do offer resources to foster families as well through Colorado grants and with the help of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe.”
Once you become a foster parent or childcare provider, expect to work closely with the Foster Care Program for general guidance and support. “They [providers] work beside us to provide nurturing homes so the youth can keep growing,” Frost explained. “Our children are sacred, so don’t be shy — come and start the process.”

To find out more about becoming a foster parent or childcare provider, contact Lisa Frost the Foster Care Coordinator with the Division of Social Services at 970-563-2330


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