Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Local Foster parents honored

J-E Editor
Sue and Alan Haynes of Sebree were recently honored by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services for being very special parents. They were named Outstanding Service Recipients for their work as foster parents, something they have been doing since 2009.
“We had just moved to Webster County, when our daughter was in a wreck,” Sue Haynes said. “Her best friend died in that accident. She had wanted to grow up to be a social worker, so we got involved in this in her honor.”

Since becoming foster parents six year ago, the Haynes have hosted 18 different foster children. Haynes said that all of those except one have been long term care. The other stayed with them for only thirty days. They’ve had as many as eight children in their home at one time.
“We like to foster until parents can get their lifes straight,” she explained. “Unfortunately, sometimes the kids don’t get to go home.”
The Haynes are trained  to foster both behavioral challenged and medically fragile children.
On Monday, Sue and Allan were able to adopt one of those chidlren who was unable to go home. He has been with the Haynes’ for two years, now he will officially be their son. She explained that social services had told them he would probaly never fit with a family, but he has proven to be an ‘amazing kiddo’.
The Kentucky Department of Community Based Services (DCBS) presented awards to adotive and foster families in the Two Rivers Service Region at a reception last Tuesday at Bowling Green’s Corvette Museum. This event was coordinated by the UK College of Social Work’s Training Resource Center. 
DCBS, part of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) and the state agency that oversees the public foster care system, collaborates with the Training Resource Center to support and educate foster and adoptive parents across the state. 
Families from each of the nine DCBS service regions are being recognized at area receptions this summer. All are honored for their dedication and commitment to caring for children in custody of DCBS due to abuse and neglect issues and making the commitment of adoption.
DCBS Commissioner Teresa James praised the families for giving children a sense of security and loving homes.
“Foster and adoptive parents come into the life of these children at their most vulnerable time, and they give them nothing but guidance and unconditional love,” she said. “We honor them for their gift of devotion.”
DCBS’ Two Rivers Service Region includes Allen, Barren, Butler, Daviess, Edmonson, Hancock, Hart, Henderson, Logan, McLean, Metcalfe, Monroe, Ohio, Simpson, Union, Warren and Webster counties.
James said safe reunification is always a priority for her staff and partners, and foster parents meet critical needs for children during a time of profound transition.
“These parents are some of our most important partners in achieving well-being and permanency for such special kids,” James said. “It’s important for us to make time to say ‘thank you’ for the great difference they make for both the children and their birth families.”
James said support staff from DCBS and UK, along with veteran foster parents as mentors, are always available to help parents with questions.
“Foster parents will have questions – about anything from paperwork to handling behavioral issues – that is expected,” she said. “We’re with them every step of the way to guide them through any obstacle,” she said.
In Kentucky, families are approved for foster care and adoption at the same time. There are more than 2,000 DCBS-approved Kentucky households that serve as foster families. Almost 7,800 children are in out-of-home care in Kentucky.
“Anyone interested should definatly call the Department of Social Services and find out more,” said Haynes. “Even if they can’t foster, there are still way that they can help.”

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