WOOD COUNTY, OH (WTOL) - There is a big need for more foster parents in Wood County.
The Wood County Department of Job and Family Services currently has 16 foster homes licensed to it. The goal is to double that number within the next year or year and a half.
Staff members hope to get a foster home licensed in each school district in the county.
Those who choose to foster have to complete 36 hours of pre-service training, and then can be licensed within two to six months. They also have to go through background checks and home inspections.
Pre-service training kicks off April 28 from 9 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Wood County Department of Job and Family Services.
"If you are on the fence, just jump in and do it, it is something that is such a great experience for them, it's so rewarding not only for the children but for them," Foster Care Specialist Shelby Smith said.
Wood County Department of Job and Family Services will be holding an open house next month on April 17 form 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. You will be able to meet the team and learn more about fostering and adoption.
The organization says children in Wood County are fostered for a number of reasons, the opioid epidemic being one of them.
On April 21, Boys & Girls, Wood County Children's Services will be holding the second annual "Super Dash" to raise awareness about fostering.
Children ages three to 14 can get dressed up as their favorite superhero or invent their own and run through a new obstacle course trail located behind the Bowling Green Community Center at 1245 West Newton Road.
If you are interested in fostering, you can contact Wood County Department of Job and Family Services at 419-352-7566 and ask to talk to a foster care specialist.