Organization seeks to bring foster kids a sense of belonging

Boy looking through the window | Photo by MariaDubova, Getty Images, St. George News

ST. GEORGE —  In Utah there are 180 children waiting to find a family and permanent home through adoption in order to provide a central source of stability that every child needs – a sense of belonging. The community is invited to attend an event Wednesday with that goal in mind.

Utah Foster Care in Southern Utah is holding an adoption forum for the community that will provide information about fostering a child April 12 at 6 p.m. at The Falls Event Center at 170 S Mall Dr in St George. Dinner is included and the event is free.

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 a permanent home.

Adoption through Foster Care event flyer | Image courtesy of Utah Foster Care, St. George News

Ben Ashcraft, southwest region representative for Utah Foster Care, said the main goal of foster care is reunification with the child’s family, and 95 percent of the time that is the intended result.

“It’s the 5 percent that leave children waiting,” Ascraft said.

The Adoption Exchange is listing 25 to 30 of these kids who want to find a permanent home to call their own.

Another goal of the upcoming event, Ashcraft said, is to dispel a common belief that adoptions can be expensive and are coordinated through private agencies exclusively.

“We want to introduce the concept of adoption through foster care,” he said.

The children in foster care waiting for an adoptive home have been removed from their homes because of the issues of their biological parents, and most of them have suffered from some form of abuse or neglect.

However, these children are resilient and they want the stability and love that a family can provide, the organization said.

According to the agency’s statistics, nearly half of children who are adopted from foster care are adopted by their foster parents.

Kathy Searle, Utah director of programs with the Adoption Exchange will also be speaking at the event.

The event will cover many of the topics related to adopting through foster care, including the fact that there are costs involved in many adoptions but those costs are minimal when adopting through foster care. Home studies and training are paid for by the Division of Child and Family Services.

All of the items necessary to prepare the home for another child are covered by the family, as well as attorney fees to finalize the adoption, but those fees will be reimbursed at the end, according to information obtained from the Utah Foster Care organization.

“You do not have to be rich, childless, or own your own home to adopt a child from foster care. The most important qualification is that you are committed to providing a safe, stable, and nurturing home for a child,” as listed by a statement on the Utah Adoption Connection’s website.

Guests are asked to RSVP for the dinner by calling 877-656-8065.

For more information on fostering or adopting a child who is in foster care, contact the Utah Foster Care offices in St. George at 877-656-8065 or visit their website.

Event Details

  • What: Utah Foster Care Adoption Forum.
  • When: Wednesday, April 12, at 6 p.m.
  • Where: The Falls Event Center, 170 S. Mall Drive, St. George.
  • Cost: Free


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