by Sam Sentelle
Posted on March 6, 2018
Foster care needs growing rapidly,no end seen
Rachel K. Kinder
March 6, 2018
The need for foster care is mushrooming with no end in sight, Rachel Kinder told Putnam Rotarians today. In the wake of the opioid epidemic, the demand for homes grew from 4,000 recently to 5,000 last summer and 6,300 now, she said. That number does not include children placed with grandparents or other relatives, she said.
Kinder is Director of FrameWorks, a Mission West Virginia program which finds homes for foster children. From its base in Hurricane, FrameWorks began as a part of Mission WV in 1997, with grants from a combination of government grants and funds from private groups such as Wendy’s Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. The simple purpose of Mission is to improve the lives of West Virginians. And FrameWorks support this, says Kinder, “by going out and spreading the word that foster parents are needed. “We recruit them through TV commercials, radio, billboards, Facebook ads, and Churches. “Word of mouth is important,” she added, “and social media is big right now.
“Some people take years to make the first step,” she said. “We keep in touch and track what’s working. One contact was made 14 years ago.”
Mission WV’s FrameWorks is the only “neutral” referral and recruitment agency in the state. “We don’t certify [foster homes],” said Kinder. “We provide an information guide and resources. And we refer them to one of the eleven foster care agencies in the state.” Certification takes 20 to 30 hours, including a safety check of the home. Is there a fire alarm? Is there adequate space? Does the home meet financial and psychological standards? Does the home pass criminal background checks? Are the references favorable?
The certification process takes four to six months.