Community services

DePaul Community Services is recruiting new families

ALBEMALRE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) – DePaul Community Resources says it is working to connect nearly 200 children in Charlottesville and Albemarle County with foster families.

Regional recruiter Chris Tompkins says needs across the state are high, where more than 5,000 teens and children are in need. He is a person who works specifically to attract more people who are ready to welcome.

“People don’t have to worry about financial barriers. The home study process is free, the training is free, and that’s how we support families who want to support children in care,” Tompkins said.

Those who host will have healthcare coverage for children, as well as a monthly stipend, to help offset costs. Tompkins manager Jorge Santos said DePaul offers classes for interested prospective adoptive parents to help them prepare for the responsibility.

“If you just have an idea you want to help, we can take you from this stage to where you want to go,” Santos said. “There are a lot of people who don’t know what it’s like to be a foster parent, and what it really entails.”

He says that in many cases children come into the system with brothers or sisters. That’s why DePaul employees believe it’s important to recruit families who are willing to house multiple children. Santos says there is also a need for foster parents to house the teenagers.

Tompkins and Santos say that when children are successfully adopted by families recruited in the past, it makes room for more families. Every year more children enter the system, so there is always a need for new parents.

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