Southern Ute Social Services is looking ahead to a busy month. The division recently received a grant that will be used to help recruit and retain foster parents and childcare providers.
Right now, Social Services is in need of a couple of long-term foster parents –long term can range from a couple of months to over a year, Shelly Thompson, Social Services division head said.
“[Foster parents] aren’t always going to have foster children. Sometimes we need them for a month, a couple weeks and sometimes we need them long term,” she said.
To jump-start the recruitment process Social Services will be hosting an open house recruitment event on Wednesday, April 13. The meeting will be held at Social Services in the Mouache Capote Building from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The meeting will include guest speakers; one will talk about experiences being a foster parent and another about experiences growing up as a foster child. Social Services staff will also be on hand to answer questions about foster care, the process it takes to become a provider and any other questions you may have.
“Anybody can apply … anyone can come to the recruitment [meeting] to be a foster parent,” Thompson said.
Social Services works with foster parents figuring out how to best fit the needs of the children and the caretakers. For instance, foster parents are allowed to pick the ages of the children they are willing and not willing to take, as well as the gender, she said.
“They have the opportunity to tell us what they are willing to take and we work around them,” Thompson said. “That’s why we need such a big variety.”
Once a foster parent or childcare provider, one can expect to work closely with Social Services for training and general guidance, she said.
To find out more about becoming a foster parent or childcare provider, plan to attend the recruitment event April 13, or call Southern Ute Social Services at 970-563-0209.
Also, in honor of National Child Abuse Awareness Month, Southern Ute Social Services and other Permanent Fund Departments will be hosting a Child Abuse Awareness Walk/Run on Wednesday, April 27 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.