Celebrating National Foster Care Month with ‘Ask a foster parent night’

Child crying | Photo by evgenyatamanenko, Getty Images, St. George News

CEDAR CITY — Many children are born into a home where they are cared for by parents who provide stability and protection; but sadly, that’s not the case for 2,900 children currently in foster care in Utah, and the number continues to rise.

May is National Foster Care Month, and Utah Foster Care in Southern Utah is celebrating by holding its annual “Ask a foster parent night” for the community Thursday at 6 p.m at the Cedar City Festival Hall, 105 N. 100 E., Cedar City.

Dinner is included and the event is free.

The free event is offered to provide people with information about fostering a child. What is it like to be a child in foster care? What is it like to be a foster parent? Those are among many questions that will be answered by a panel of experts, parents, state workers, adopted children and others involved in the foster/adoption process.

“This is a unique event, and is only held once a year,” Ben Ashcraft, southwest region representative for Utah Foster Care, said.

The goal of the interactive forum is to provide a better understanding of what it would be like to become a foster or adoptive parent, Ashcraft said.

Most often, children enter the foster system because of abuse, neglect, mental health or addiction problems in their original homes. While many are returned to their families, there are those who are legally adopted throughout the state.

The children are listed on Utah’s Adoption Connection and can be found in the “Heart Gallery.”

The panel discussion will also address some of the issues related to the increase in the number of children going into foster care in Utah, and how the opioid crisis may play a role in that.

Utah Foster Care is a private, nonprofit organization that is part of a team that includes state and private agencies serving the needs of children and families in crisis. The organizations form a powerful front in the ongoing effort to find foster children permanent homes.

Utah Foster Care finds and trains families to provide secure, loving homes for the 2,900 children in foster care throughout the state.

Event Details

  • What: “Ask a foster parent night,” panel discussion and dinner.
  • When: Thursday, May 3, at 6 p.m.
  • Where: Cedar City Festival Hall, 105 N. 100 E., Cedar City.
  • Cost: Free
  • Details: Those interested in attending in Cedar City are asked to RSVP by email to rsvp@utahfostercare.org. Include your name, the number of people attending and identify “Cedar City” as your area (the RSVP email address is a general email used for event forums taking place across Utah).
  • More information: Contact the Utah Foster Care offices in St. George at 877-656-8065 or visit the Utah Foster Care website.

Email: cblowers@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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