TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - There is a greater need for adoptive parents now more than ever, and Lucas County Children Services is urging the community to consider growing their families during National Adoption Month.
"I don't think that people realize that the heroin epidemic has so many children behind it. So at some level, I think people understand that there is always a need for foster and adoptive parents. But we need them now more than ever," said Donna Seed, manager of the placement department at Lucas County Children Services.
More than a thousand children are not in the care of their parents in Lucas County, with approximately 600 in foster care and at least 400 in relative care.
Statewide, there are 2,671 children in foster care waiting to be adopted. In Lucas County, 67 children are waiting to be adopted into their forever homes.
"But that number is fluid, it changes every day," Seed said.
She said of the children waiting to be adopted, about 40 percent are above the age of 13. Seed said that number mirrors national statistics.
Although LCCS needs more assistance, they are proud of their efforts thus far, with 459 children being adopted in past five years.
In 2017, 55 have been complete adoptions, and are projecting that number will be up to 80 by the end of the year.
The next training session for those interested in becoming foster or adoptive parents begins January 9 and will continue through February 15.
Classes and lessons being offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The 36 hours of training includes:
- Child abuse
- Neglect and its dynamics
- Loss and separation
- The impact of trauma on the lives of children
- Interaction with the birth family
- Dynamics of adoption
"We have three foster parents that are present for every session and assist with every training, so they give a very honest view of what it means to be a foster parent. We also do two different panels with this training with foster parents and their family members," Seed said. "Children over the age of 14 give their experience about living in foster care and they talk openly about what children need."
To get involved, call 419-231-3336 or visit here.