Most children are in foster care for about 12 months, but some children may stay longer, Kobi Prettyman of Utah Foster Care said in a news release.
“The length of time a child is in foster care varies depending on their family’s individual circumstances,” said Prettyman. “More than half of children who enter foster care return to live with their birth parents or another relative.”
Foster families have the opportunity to mentor and support parents who are working to have their children returned to them. When a child cannot be reunited safely with family, they may be adopted from foster care. Last year, 543 children were adopted from foster care in Utah, most of them by their foster parents, according to the news release.
“Children in foster care are all ages, from newborn to teens. In Grand and San Juan counties, the greatest need is for families who are able and willing to care for children over age 8,” according to the news release. “Many children enter foster care with brothers and sisters and need foster families who can help them stay together.”
Children in foster care come from all racial and cultural backgrounds. There is a need for families of all races and cultures to come forward, officials said, adding that children “do better when placed with families who can help them maintain their cultural and racial identities.”
Foster parents can be married or single. They can own or rent their homes. It takes 32 hours of training and the ability to pass a criminal background check to become a foster parent in Utah.
Utah Foster Care and the Division of Child and Family Services provide ongoing training to foster and adoptive parents throughout the state.
Preparation training is scheduled for Moab starting in June.
For details on how to become a foster parent in southeastern Utah, call UFC’s local representative, Geri Swift, at 435-259-3345, or visit: utahfostercare.org.