Iowa KidsNet has launched a campaign to recruit foster and adoptive parents across the state. Iowa KidsNet is a partnership of six social service agencies, and project manager Kelli Malone says they’re using all their resources in the effort.
Malone says the goal is to get 99 referrals of new families in 99 days. She says they’re tracking the new referrals, so that any current families that refer a new family will get 99 dollars. Malone says one thing they’ve found in working with the Department of Human Services is that the need for families is wide and varied.
Malone says each service area, which includes many different counties, has different needs. For example, one area may need families for children eight years or older, or another might need African-American families. Malone says they’re targeting the individual needs of service areas to their recruiting efforts.
Malone says they’ve analyzed the data to come up with recruitment priorities and are hoping that families will be interested in finding out what type of kids need them. She says they need foster care parents, adoptive parents, families to provide respite to those families who provide foster care.
Malone encourages anyone with interest to look into becoming a foster parent. She says there are a lot of myths out there about who can and can’t be a foster parent. Malone says you can be single, married, older, and income is not an issue, as she says there’s not a typical kind of foster parent. Malone says there is training available for those who want to get involved.
Malone says if you’re interested, there is an orientation meeting that will tell you everything you want to know about the issue, so you can determine if it is for you. For more information, you can call Iowa KidsNet at 1-800-243-0756, or surf to the Iowa KidsNet website ..