TOLEDO, Ohio — Back when students were learning completely at home, abuse and neglect reporting numbers went down, mainly because children were not being seen every day in school. But when kids went back to school, reports started coming back in and the need for local foster parents skyrocketed.
"We rely heavily on teachers who see the children in their classroom every single day, and they are our leading reporters of suspected abuse and neglect. And with kids going back to school, we are concerned!" said Julie Malkin, LCCS Director of Communications. "We want to make sure that if a child needs care that we have homes for those children."
Foster parents help provide kids with a safe home and sometimes a permanent place to stay. Lucas County Children Services is offering free, socially distanced training classes for anyone interested in becoming a foster or adoptive parent.
The four sessions will be held in person at the LCCS Training Center at 711 Adams Street. Attending the classes is a required step toward fostering or adopting.
The sessions are scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. on the following dates:
- Aug. 23-28 (Monday-Saturday)
- Sept. 17-26 (Friday-Sunday; 2 weekends)
- Oct. 22-31 (Friday-Sunday; 2 weekends)
- Dec. 3-12 (Friday-Sunday; 2 weekends)
According to LCCS, to become a foster or adoptive parent you must meet the following requirements:
- Be 18 years of age or older
- Demonstrate a source of sufficient income to care for yourself
- Can work outside of home
- Can own or rent a home or apartment with at least two bedrooms that will pass a safety inspection
All caretakers in a household must attend the free training. All adults in the home must provide references and pass a background check.
There's no requirement to be married or in a relationship and you can receive financial support based on your foster child's needs.
To register for the classes, call 419-213-3336 or visit www.lucaskids.net