Utah Foster Care invites all to a free dinner with a purpose: providing children a home

Photo by Nuli_K | iStock, Getty Images Plus, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The 13-year-old girl is registered under number 151609, a number she hopes will get called one day. What that number does not reveal is that she enjoys dancing, swimming and playing soccer, has a giant love for animals or that her name is Heather. The community is invited to attend an event Wednesday with Heather’s goal and those of others like her in mind.

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 numbers continue to rise.

Utah Foster Care in Southern Utah is holding its annual “Ask a foster parent night” for the community Wednesday 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.

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? These are just some of the 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 approximately 150 children in Utah legally eligible for adoption who have yet to be matched to an adoptive family, with more than 12 of these kids located in the southwest region of the state.

The children are listed on Utah’s Adoption Connection and can be found in the “Heart Gallery” where, for example, Heather’s adoption profile is listed.

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: Wednesday, Jan. 24, at 6 p.m.
  • Where: The Falls Event Center, 170 S. Mall Drive, St. George.
  • Cost: Free
  • Details: Those interested in attending in St. George are asked to RSVP by email to [email protected]. Include your name, the number of people attending and identify “St. George” 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 telephone 877-656-8065 or visit the Utah Foster Care website.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

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

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  • comments January 21, 2018 at 4:19 pm

    I’ve been looking for an opportunity to volunteer with with youth or kids. It won’t be fostering tho. Anyone have any ideas?

    I don’t think me coaching the girl runners would work out. I have a feeling they are looking for women only for those positions even if it isn’t stated outright.

    • comments January 21, 2018 at 4:26 pm

      *wouldn’t work out

      • comments January 21, 2018 at 4:26 pm

        oops nope, nevermind 😉

  • comments January 21, 2018 at 4:54 pm

    In some of these kids profiles I see things like this:

    “The caseworker prefers an LDS family with pets in the home. McKinley would like to maintain contact with her siblings and extended family members following placement. Financial assistance may be available for adoption-related services. ”

    Isn’t stating a preferred religion of potential adoptive parents by a state employee against the law? I realize you LDS’ers rule over this state with an iron fist, but it seems like its crossing a line.

  • youcandoit January 21, 2018 at 7:28 pm

    That’s ridiculous LDS family members only. I see why there’s a shortage of foster homes. How about people who don’t want LDS members get it through your hypocritical ways you are not perfect nobody’s religion is. Only God

    • comments January 21, 2018 at 8:17 pm

      If the kid is already coerced into being a mormon at that tender young age I get that the little kid might like to keep the habit of going to a mormon chuch. But, basically, they are saying “MORMONS ONLY”. That’s got to be a violation of several laws right there. LDS hypocrites. These LDS’ers may think they have the market cornered on “good parenting”, but I’d say they’re mostly self-deluded and arrogant…….

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